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Top Sixteen Dinosaur Questions below
Dino and Paleontology Dictionary first!
|What does the word dinosaur mean?
What does saurus mean?,
What does deinos mean?
What color were the dinosaurs?
How (and when) did the dinosaurs go extinct?
|How many dinosaurs were there?|
|What was the biggest dinosaur?||What was the smallest dinosaur?||Which dinosaur was the largest meat-eater?||Were there more plant-eaters or meat-eaters?|
|How many teeth did T. rex have (and how big were they)?||What is the oldest dinosaur ever found?||What was the first dinosaur ever found?||
Did birds evolve from the dinosaurs?
Were there any flying dinosaurs?
Were there any swimming dinosaurs?
|How do you know what the enemies of a dinosaur were?||What kind of habitats did the dinosaurs live in?|
We enjoy hearing from visitors. Thank you for writing! You can send your questions and we'll try to answer them as soon as possible, but we can't answer them all. (We get many more questions than we can possibly answer. We try to answer as many as we can. Please don't send your question many times - they will all be deleted if you do so.)
Don't forget to scroll down to find the answer to your question - they're in reverse order by the date they were asked.
Q: WHAT DID THIS DINASOUR EAT, WHERE DID
HE LIVE, WHAT TIME PERIOD, WHAT AND WHO WERE HIS ENEMIES, WHY HE BECAME EXTINCT,
HOW MANY LEGS DID HE WALK ON, WHAT DID HE LOOK LIKE
from DANIELLE W, CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES; December 14, 2001
A: A lot of organisms lived before the dinosaurs. Look in a chart of geologic time, and scroll down to the Mesozoic Era (when dinsaurs lived). All of the organisms listed below (before) the Mesozoic Era were alive before the dinosaurs.
A: The easiest places to find fossils are areas that have exposed sedimentary rock, like road cuts, badlands, cliffs, and so on. For a page on finding fossils, click here.
A: For a page on Plesiosaurs, click here.
For a page on Pterodactylus (with a drawing), click here.
A: You need a fast connection, like a DSL line for the online coloring pages to work well (they also get bogged down when we have a lot of traffic).
A: The two major orders of dinosaurs are the saurischians (lizard-hipped) and the ornithischians (bird-hipped). These two groups are subdivided into many different suborders and smaller groups . For a page on the many different families of dinosaurs, click here.
A: No dinosaurs have been found in Washington state. For a list of dinosaurs finds, state by state, click here.
A: For a page on writing a dinosaur poem, click here.
A: The woolly mammoth's genus and species are: Mammuthus primigenius.
A: The biggest
asteroid is Ceres; it is about 578 miles (930 kilometers) in diameter.
A: For a page on Syntarsus, click here.
A: Until recently, the oldest known dinosaur was Eoraptor. Recently, 2 even older prosauropods were found in Madagascar.
The biggest fish alive today is the whale shark (it is a filter feeder that sieves its small plant and animal food through large gills). The ancient shark Megalodon was one the largest active predators (it is theorized to have eaten whales). Many large fish (especially the larger sharks) today eat young whales and smaller species of whales.
A: The blue whale.
A: There had to have been both male and female Xiaosaurus.
A: I don't know who the first dinosaur toy collector was, but the first dinosaur models were made by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins of England in 1854. He made and sold plaster-cast dinosaurs through the Ward's catalogue of scientific supplies. The first dinosaur used for adult amusement was a life-size model of an Iguanodon (made of concrete by Hawkins) that was used to house a dinner party for scientists (including Richard Owen, who coined the term dinosaur) at a major exhibition in London, England, in 1854. The invitations to the party were sent on fake pterodactyl wings.
A: Brachiosaurus was a brachiosaurid, giant plant-eating dinosaurs with a long neck and arms that were were longer than the legs. Other brachiosaurids include Giraffititan, Pelorosaurus, Pleurocoelus, Bothriospondylus, and others.
A: Click here.
A: Trachodon is a genus of dinosaur about which very little is known, since only fossilized teeth have been found.
A: For a page on Sue Hendrickson, who found that T. rex, click here. For some information on Sue the dinosaur, click here.
A: During the cretaceous period, breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea into separate continents (Laurasia and Gondwana) was underway. The separation of Laurasia and Gondwana was complete.
A: Click on their names for information: Yaverlandia, Euparkeria, Fabrosaurus, Ticinosuchus, Ornithosuchus, Coelurus, Euoplocephalus, Elasmosaurus.
A: The most widely-accepted theory is the Alvarez asteroid theory. For other theories, click here.
A: Polar bears are meat-eaters (carnivores) that eat seals and walruses.
A: The longest (like Argentinosaurs) were over 130 feet long.
A: It's not. The Cretaceous period was followed by the Tertiary period. K-T is short for Cretaceous-Tertiary; people usually abbreviate the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction (the major mass etinction that happened between those two periods) as the K-T extinction.
A: Pistosaurus was a genus of nothosaur(nothosaurs were long-necked, long-tailed, fish-eating reptiles, but were not dinosaurs).
Pterodactyls were a type of pterosaur, flying reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs (but they were not dinosaurs).
A: Click here.
A: Not all dinosaurs had three fingers. Some had two (like T. rex and Daspletosaurus), some had three (like Allosaurus and Baryonyx), some had four (like Ceratosaurus and Syntarsus), and some had five (like Saltopus and Staurikosaurus).
A: Hadrosaurus foulki.
A: Yes, you're certainly right about the leg proportions - animals whose lower leg is longer than the upper leg are faster than other animals their size and weight. But I doubt that T. rex was terribly slow (and remember it's all relative - an animal only has to a tiny bit faster than its prey). Not all predators are that fast (after all, we are predators). Some predators lay in wait for their prey to venture too close and then pounce (crocodiles, spiders, octopi, and overweight domestic cats use this energy-saving method). Also, most predators don't go after the fastest animals (that would be a tremendous waste of calories) - even the fast cats prefer to go after the young, the old, and the limping. T. rex was neither the fastest animal to live on Earth nor the most agile, but it was still probably faster (and cleverer) that many of the prey-sized plant-eaters of its time (and again, there are always young, old, and limping prey animals to catch). Also, something about its size makes me think it was a predator - why would ot have to be so big if it just ate dead Triceratops that it found on the ground?
A: An easy one to report on is one on which a lot is known, like Stegosaurus. For a fact sheet on Stegosaurus, click here. For a longer information page on Stegosaurus, click here. For a coloring printout on Stegosaurus, click here.
A: The blue whale and the T. rex are very different in many way. The two most obvious ones, when you look at the fossils, are the lack of rear legs in the whale (some whales have tiny, vestigial rear limbs) and the skulls (which differ not ony in shape, size realtive to the body, and tooth type, but in the number of holes in the skull).
A: WHen it comes to fossils, that is virtually impossible. Sometimes, when a large group of similar fossils are found (this is aclled a bone bed), there are clearly two different type of animals (these are called morphs) and one type is likely females and the other is males. Determining which is male and which is female, though, is impossible now.
A: Thanks. The various Mosasaurs were shaped a bit like eels, with a long, thin body and their measurement is reported in length - not height. I've never seen an estimate of Mosasaurus' weight.
A: Click here.
A: When T. rex was found, and for a long time afterwards, it was the largest-known meat-eating dinosaur. For more information on T. rex, click here.
A: Different types of dinosaurs have different numbers of bones, but they all have roughly 200 or so bones.
A: Plant=eaters are also called herbivores. They are also called primary comsumers, because of their position in the food chain (secondary consumers eat primary consumers, and so on).
A: For information on Parksosaurus, click here.
A: The climate was hot and dry and at the beginning of the Jurassic period. There was no polar ice, so sea levels were higher than they are now. During the mid-Jurassic, the supercontinent Pangaea began to break up into Laurasia and Gondwana, and there were vast flooded areas, temperate and subtropical forests, and coral reefs. The extensive water moderated the strong seasonality so that by the end of the Jurassic there was less seasonality than we have now.
A: T. rex lived during the late Cretaceous period.
A: Click here.
That was certainly an enjoyable movie, and one of the few that featured dinosaur fossils. Intercostal refers to muscles between the ribs. The clavicle is a long bone in the front of the shoulder, also called the collar bone. Dinosaurs had intercoastal muscles and clavicles. Other than in that movie, I've never heard of an intercostal clavicle.
I don't know of any birds that look like that much like pterodactyls. It could be (this is just a wild guess) the Magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), which is strange-looking, fish-eating bird that has a long-beak, a long, forked tail, long, pointed wings, a red bladder on the neck, and a wing span of almost 3 m (about 10 feet) - but I've never read of spots or circles on their eggs.
Seismosaurus was so named because its giant mass is thought to have produced earth-shaking movement when it walked.
A: During the Triassic period, it was warmer than it is now. The continents were jammed together into a supercontinent called Pangaea, which made most of the land on Earth interior deserts. Seasonality was low. There was no polar ice, so the sea level was higher than it is now. For more information on the Triassic period, click here.
A: Sir Richard Owen.
A: It means lizard or reptile.
A: The person who scientifically describes a dinosaur gets to name it (but the name has to be approved by an official naming committee). Usually, the scientist who names it chooses a name that either describes a characteristic of the fossil, where it was found, or honors a scientist who did related work.
A: A Giganotosaurus partial skeleton fossils have been found in the Patagonia region of Argentina (in southern Argentina, South America). For more information on Giganotosaurus, click here.
Yes, some meat-eating dinosaurs ate other dinosuars. For example, T. rex ate Triceratops.
Kentrosaurus lived during the late Jurassic Period, about 156 to 150 million years ago. For more information on Kentrosaurus, click here.
A: Fossilized dung is called coprolite.
Scientists have found remains of a a huge impact crater off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, that dates from 65 million years ago. There's also one in the Indian ocean.
Utahraptor was named by James I. Kirkland, Robert Gaston and Donald Burge (in 1993).
None. The oldest Hawaiian island, Kauai, formed only about 6 million years old - this is millions of years after the last of the dinosaurs went extinct.
A: There are only three, the Triassic period, the Jurassic period, and the Cretaceous period (together, they form the Mesozoic Era.
A: Click here.
For a page on late Cretaceous period dinosaurs, click here (and look under the section on North America).
A: Click here for information on the Jurassic period.
A: For a geologic timescale, click here. For a shorter version, click here.
A: For a page on the ancient shark megalodon, click here.
A: For a page on North American dinosaurs, click here.
Dynamosaurus imperiosus is the same as Tyrannosaurus rex ( Henry Fairfield Osborn named it, but soon realized that it was the same as T. rex). For more information, click here.
For a page of dinosaurs that begin with "S," click here.
See Zoom Dinosaurs.
No animals hunted T. rex - it was at the top of the local food chain. It was, like all animals, in danger from disease organisms, like bacteria and viruses.
A: It wasn't. The Jurassic period was named for rock strata found in the Jura Mountains, which are located between France and Switzerland.
A: For a page on cheetahs, click here.
For a page on Syntarsus, click here.
A: Dinosaurs lived from about 230 million years ago until 65 million years ago (they lived for about 165 million years).
Badly. To kill their prey, Komodo dragons bite it, infecting the prey with septic saliva. The wound soon becomes infected and the prey dies.
You can find people who believe just about anything, but there are two reasons that scientists do not think that "sea monsters" are dinosaurs: 1. There is no evidence that sea monsters exist, 2. No dinosaurs ever lived in the water or were adapted to life in the water (other reptiles during the Mesozoic Era, like plesiosaurs, mosasaurs and nothosaurs were, however, adapted for life in the water).
A: They were an evolutionary dead end.
A: For a page on Jurassic plants, click here.
A: Bruhathkayosaurus was originally classified as a theropod, but is now believed to be a titanosaurid sauropod (mostly becasue of the enormous size of the femur -2.34 meters long). It is only known from a few bones.
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