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Zoom Dinosaurs
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By Date By Type of Dinosaur General Dino. Qns. Qns. About Other Animals Geological Era Qns.

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Questions from late July 2001
Please check the
Top Sixteen Dinosaur Questions
and the
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?

Q: What was the smallest pliosaur?
from Po Mouse, harven, Auquira, Sorvec; July 30, 2001

A: The exact length of most pliosaurs is not known. Some smalll pliosaurs include Leptocleidus (7-10 feet = 2-3 m long), Plesiopleurodon (9.2 feet = 2.9 m long), and Bathyspondylus (7+ feet = 2+ m long).

Q: Interesting facts about dinosaurs starting with each letter in the alphabet.
from Kate .F., Nuriootpa, South Australia, Australia; July 30, 2001

A: Click here.

Q: How Smart were Velociraptors?
from Jarrett M., Santa Barbra, CA, USA; July 31, 2001

A: Velociraptors was a dromaeosaurid, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the highest among the dinosaurs. See the chart below:


Q: Whatr are the names of Dinosaurs starting with A?
from Kate.F., Nuriootpa, South Australia, Australia; July 30, 2001

A: For all the known dinosaurs whose name starts with "A," click here.

Q: Did dinosaurs sleep? Where did they sleep? Did they sleep standing up or lieing down?
from Jack O, Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand; July 30, 2001

A: No one knows.

Q: How do u ever get 2 the Dino talk?!?!?! I can`t even find a place 2 type in what I want 2 say! Do I have 2 write a letter 2 the President?!?!?!? PS Spino is better than T-rex,tell them THAT.
from Joe S, Midland, MI, USA; July 30, 2001

A: You could write Bush, but I don't that would help much. Towards the top of the dinotalk page, there's a link to add a post that says, "Click here to add to the message board. "

Q: Is there a dino that has a fin like thing on his back but is a plant eater? A fin like on spinosaurus. the dino i am looking for is a plant eater.
from david ransom, newburgh, ny, usa; July 29, 2001

A: Ouranosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that had a sail on its back.

Q: What is the length of a dinosaurs inprint from the heel to the toe?
from ashleigh b, wollongong, nsw, australia; July 28, 2001

A: The dinosaurs ranged in size from very samll to bigger than a house - their feet (and footprints) also varies from very small to about 3 feet long.

from PUNIT,GAJWANI, HONG KONG; July 27, 2001

A: I have no idea. Click here to see what Dr. Tom Holtz recently said about this.

Q: Have any dinosaur fossils been found in India? Please give details.
from Harry L., Woodland Hills, California, USA; July 27, 2001

A: Quite a few dinosaurs have been found in India, including: Antarctosaurus, Barapasaurus, Brachypodosaurus, Coeluroides, Compsosuchus, Dandakosaurus, Dinosaurus, Dravidosaurus*, Dryptosauroides, Himalayecetus*, Indosaurus, Indosuchus, Jubbulpuria, Kotasaurus, Laevisuchus, Lametasaurus, Majungasaurus, Ornithomimoides, Orthogoniosaurus, Titanosaurus, and Walkeria (click on the individual dinosaurs for information on them.

Q: what group of mammals does the saber toothed tiger/cat belong to, what were its relatives and what mammals are related to it today?
from angie s, diggers rest, victoria, australia; July 27, 2001

A: The sabertooth cats belonged to the Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Carnivora (cats, dogs, bears, seals, weasels, etc.), Family Felidae (cats), and Subfamily Machairodontinae (sabertooth cats). There were many saber-toothed cats, including Smilodon, Homotherium, Dinictis, and Machairodus. It's relatives today are living members of Family Felidae (cats, like the cheetah).

Q: Were there more hebivorous dinosaurs than canivorous dinosaurs?
from Soh y., singapore, -, Singapore; July 27, 2001

A: There were many more herbivorous dinosaurs than carnivorous dinosuars. For more information on this, click here.

Q: what was befor triassic?
from zakk s., calorado spring, calorado, america; July 26, 2001

A: The Permian period (280 to 248 million years ago) came before the Triassic period (248 to 208 million years ago). For a short chart of geologic time, click here.

Q: What were the 3 eras for the age of the dinosaurs? What 3 periodds made up the middle era?
from Tahisha L, Middletown, New York, ?; July 26, 2001

A: The dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic Era, which is divided into 3 periods, the Triassic period, the Jurassic period and the Cretaceous period.

Q: could u describe how fossils are formed and exposed?
from caitlin.f, melbourne, victoria, australia; July 25, 2001

A: For a page on fossil formation, click here. Fossils are exposed when erosive forces, like wind or flowing water, abrade the rock and soil matrix that covering the fossil. They are also exposed when people dig into the ground (like in quarries and highway cuts).

Q: what are the spitting dinosaurs called?????
from andy b, chester, west virginia, united states of america; July 25, 2001

A: In the Jurassic Park movies, Dilophosaurus was depicted as spitting poison. There is no evidence that it did this anywhere but in the movies.

Q: I'm not sure, but I think your site is inaccurate. You said Giganotosaurus was the largest carnivore, but I've heard twice that Spinosaurus was the largest. If I'm wrong, please correct me. Thanks!
from Max S., Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA; July 25, 2001

A: Only fragments of Spinosaurus have been found so far, and most of them were destroyed during World War 2 (including fragments of the jaws, vertebrae, partial rear legs, teeth [destroyed], and neck vertebra, partial jaws, and a neural arch ), so no one knows exactly how big it was - it may have been longer than Giganotosaurus, but this is not known. Giganotosaurus is known from much more complete fossils.

Q: Are the raptors in the first second and third Jurasic Park the same species of raptors?
from chris E, white lake, Mi, USA; July 24, 2001

A: Click here.

Q: What nickname is given to the first fossil of Australopithecus africanus?
from nina k, sydney, NSW, Australia; July 24, 2001

A: Australopithecus africanus (found by Raymond Dart) was nicknamed Taung child, since it was perhaps a 3- to 4-year-old child found in the Taung cave, South Africa.

Q: Sine the movie Jurassic Park 3, I am interested in seeing more realistic pictures of the dino that is bigger than the T-Rex that has the spiny sail on the back and an alligator snout. What is the actual name of that species and what more is known about it?
Also, I would like to know where I could find more realistic/computer generated pictures of a Carcharamous Megalodon Shark.

from Dick E., Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; July 24, 2001

A: The huge, sail-backed dinosaur in JP3 was Spinosaurus. Only fragmentary remains have been found (unfortunately, the skull is also incomplete), so very little is known about Spinosaurus' structure and exact size (and nothing is known about the details of its appearance, like skin color, skin texture, frills, etc.). When you see "realistic" pictures of dinosaurs - beware - they are mostly made up.

As to the shark megalodon, only the jaws have been found - shark skeletons are made of cartlilage, which does not fossilize well at all. Since its teeth are similar to those of the great white shark, paleontologists think that it may have looked like a streamlined version of the great white. If you want a realistic picture of megalodon, you'd better start hunting for some megalodon fossils.

Q: Can you tell me how heavy a prey that the biggest Pterodactyl could pick up? We were wondering after seeing Jurrasic Park III. Thank you, Fabian
from Fabian A., Hawthorne, Ca., USA; July 23, 2001

A: The biggest pterodactyloid was Quetzalcoatlus, which had a wingspan of just under 36 feet wide (10.96 m) and weighed about 300 pounds (135 kg) (but Quetzalcoatlus was much bigger than the one pictured in the movie). This enormous pterosaur could probably pick up things up to about its own weight (but this is not at all certain).

Q: What are some cretaceous dinasours?
from Candi J., Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States; July 23, 2001

A: For early Cretaceous dinosaurs, click here. For middle Cretaceous dinosaurs, click here. For late Cretaceous dinosaurs, click here.

Q: How can you be sure that Uranium 235 dating is accurate? Is there any Scientific proof that it works or is it just speculation?
from Nick W, helena, Mt, U.S.A; July 23, 2001

A: Radioisotope dating is based on simple physics, and yes, there is plenty of scientific proof that it is accurate - the rate of decay has been measured innumerable times and is not in dispute. Unstable radioisotopes (radioactive variants of elements) decay into other elements and isotopes at an easily measured (and constant) rate. For more inofrmation on dating fossils, click here.

Q: whats the oldest shark fossils date
from Ronaldo d, miami beach, 33141, USA; July 23, 2001

A: The earliest-known shark remains are fossil scales" that date from about 420 million years ago, during the early Silurian. The earliest shark genera are Mongolepis and Polymerolepis.

Q: Have any dinasaur remains been found in the state of Illinois
from Lynn B, Crete, Illinois, USA; July 23, 2001

A: No dinosaurs have been found in Illinois yet. For a page on dinosaurs listed state by state, click here. For a page on Cretaceous rocks in Illinois, click here.

Q: tell me about spinosaurus
from ?, ?, ?, ?; July 22, 2001

A: For information on Spinosaurus click here. For a fact sheet on Spinosaurus, click here.

Q: When was the Spinosaurus discovered and like in Jurassic Park 3, could it win in a fight against a T-rex?
from Josiah P., Sewell, New Jersey, United States; July 22, 2001

A: Spinosaurus was discovered in Egypt in 1912 (and named in 1915). Spinosaurus and T. rex lived in different places and at different times - they never met in real life, only in the movies. According to Dr. Thomas Holtz (an expert in tyrannosaurids), "Spinosaurus might well have been able to kill T. rex, if it managed to get a good hold of the neck."

from JOSH .S, OCALA, FLORIDA, ?; July 21, 2001

A: A recently discovered Pentaceratops skull was 9.8 feet (3 m) long, making it the largest skull of a land animal ever found. Torosaurus, another Ceratopsian with a long frill and the second-largest skull yet found on a land animal.

Q: What creatures survived after the meteor crashed? Why did they survive when other dinosaurs became extinct?
from Donovan B., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., U.S.A.; July 21, 2001

A: Many organisms survived the K-T extinction, including many birds, many mammals, many reptiles (like lizards and crocodilians, etc.), many worms, marine organisms, etc. During this extinction, 80-90% of marine species, about 50% of the marine genera, and about 15% of the marine families went extinct. For land animals, about 85% of the species, about 25% of the families, and about 56% of the genera died out. Larger animals (over about 55 pounds=25 kg) were all wiped out (and many smaller ones).

Q: Could you please tell me the name of a saurapod resembling an apatasaurus or a diplodocus?
from forest t, riverside, california, usa; July 20, 2001

A: Apatosaurus and Diplodocus were diplodocids - huge, long-necked, small-headed, whip-tailed plant-eating dinosaurs whose two nostrils opened at the top of the head (with one opening). Some other diplodocids included Seismosaurus, Supersaurus, Barosaurus, and others.

Q: A comment, really. On your mosasaur page you say that tylosaurus was the largest mosasaur at 33 ft. This is not true. Several mosasurs, including the 55 ft hainosaurus and the sixty foot long mosaurus, are larger. Please change it.
from Egg Head, whoknows, whoknows, yeahright; July 19, 2001

A: Nowhere on this site do we say that Tylosaurus was the largest mosasaur - our page on Mosasaurs states that Tylosaurs were the largest mosasaurs. I've changed the wording to make it clearer. The tylosaurs (a sub-family of mosasaurs) include many genera, including Tylosaurus, Mosasaurus, Hainosaurus, and others.

Q: How big is a brontasaurus?
from Dillan, Billings, Montana, Yellowstone; July 19, 2001

A: Brontosaurus (now called Apatosaurus) was about 70-90 feet long (21-27 m) and about 15 feet (4.6 m) tall at the hips. It weighed roughly 33-38 tons (30-35 tonnes). Its head was less than 2 feet long.

Q: yes, i have a question i just recently saw jurassic park 3 and i didint really liked it becouse t-rex was killed by spinosaurus. Now my question is could he really kill the t-rex?
from ALFREDO D. JR., aurora, illinois, united states; July 19, 2001

A: Spinosaurus and T. rex lived in different places and at different times - they never met in real life, only in the movies. According to Dr. Thomas Holtz (an expert in tyrannosaurids), "Spinosaurus might well have been able to kill T. rex, if it managed to get a good hold of the neck."

Q: What are the basic physiological differences between T.rex and giganotasaurus? How much larger was giganotasaurus than T. Rex?
from Adam K., long lake, mn, usa; July 19, 2001

A: Some of the more obvious differences include:
Skull length 6 feet (1.8 m) 5 feet (1.5 m)
Hands 3 fingers larger, with 2 fingers
Height at hips 12 feet (3.7 m) 10 feet (3 m)
Length 45-47 feet (14.5 m) 40 feet (12 m)
Weight about 8 tons about 5 tons
Teeth long, knife-like, serrated - slicing action conical, serrated - crushing action
Brain size, shape small, banana shaped larger and wider
When they lived about 100-95 million years ago about 65 million years ago
Where they lived South America North America
Picture Giganotosaurus

Q: What bird still around today roamed the earth with dinosaurs more than 165 million years ago?
from Shannon A., Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; July 18, 2001

A: No modern-day bird species were around then - in fact, there are no known bird fossils from 165 million years ago. The earliest-known bird, Archaeopteryx, dates from about 150 million years ago (during the late Jurassic period).

Q: What is the name of the paleontologist who is currently uncovering T-Rexs, I believe, in the state of Montana? Supposedly this man was the inspiration behind the Jurassic Park movies. Thank you!
from Christine L., Lomita, California, U.S.A.; July 18, 2001

A: The paleontologist in the movie "Jurassic Park" was probably based upon the real paleontologist Jack Horner (Horner was also a technical consultant on the film).

Q: What are the names of some dinos that look simular to the T-rex
from Will W., Weston, Florida, USA; July 18, 2001

A: The dinosaurs that were the most similar to Tyrannosaurus rex were other tyrannosaurids (Family Tyrannosauroidea - huge predators with small arms and two-fingered hands), like Tarbosaurus\, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Alioramus, and Shanshanosaurus.

from TOM.H, JIM, JIM, JIM; July 18, 2001

A: Most dinosaurs were plant-eaters (like Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, and Maiasaura); far fewer were meat-eaters (like T. rex, Spinosaurus, Compsognathus, and Velociraptor.

Q: is t rex a plant eater or a meat eater?
from jasonk, bethesda, ma, usa; July 18, 2001

A: T. rex was a meat-eater.

Q: Where Is a web site for info on Velosoraptors.
from Thomas C, Raliegh, NC, North America; July 17, 2001

A: Click here for a page on Velociraptor.

Q: hi i was wondering why does no 1 try to clon a dinasaur lik in that movie it might work i think it can be done
from Tim A, brocvill, ontario, canada; July 17, 2001

A: To clone a dinosaur, you'd need intact dinosaur DNA. Although one group of paleontologists claim to have found bits dinosaur genes, bits are not sufficient to re-create an entire animal (and their results are not universally accepted).

Q: when did dinosaurs exist? how many dinosaurs were there?
from Tara G, Perth, WA, Australia; July 17, 2001

A: Dinosaurs lived from about 230 million years ago until 65 million years ago. There are about 1,000 known genera of dinosaurs and many more species. These probably represent only a fraction of the dinosaur genera that actually lived.

Q: Where did dinosaurs live?
from dan t, shepparton, victoria, australia; July 17, 2001

A: Dinosaurs have been found all over the world, including the continent of Antarctica. During the Mesozoic Era, when dinosaurs lived, the continents were arranged differently - they were jammed together into a supercontinent called Pangaea, which began to split up during the Jurassic period. For a list of dinosaurs finds by locations, click here.

Q: was there a dinosaur called a teradactle?
from samantha c, tipton, westmidlands, england; July 16, 2001

A: Pterodactyls were flying reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs (although they were related to the dinosaurs, they are not classified as dinosaurs because of their many physical differences, like leg/hip structure).

Q: What kinds of dinosaus lived on the isle of wight
from Masiy j, High Wycombe, ?, England; July 16, 2001

A: Aristosuchus, Eotyrannus, Hypsilophodon, Ornatotholus, Vectisaurus, and Yaverlandia have been found on the Isle of Wight. For other British and European dinosaurs, click here.

Q: why did they kill?
from ?, ?, ?, ?; July 16, 2001

A: Meat-eating dinosaurs killed in order to eat.

Q: What was the name of the largest dinosuar skull ever found?
from bob b, lexington, kentucky, us; July 16, 2001

A: The largest skull found so far is one from a Pentaceratops - this skull was 9.8 feet (3 m) long, making it the largest skull of a land animal ever found. Until then, the largest skull belonged to Torosaurus (another ceratopsian).

Q: Where can T-rex imformation be?
from James Jr, Mass, Brookline, America; July 16, 2001

A: For a section on T. rex, click here.

Q: Where was Spinosaurus aegyptiacus found?
from Bryan H, ?, PA, USA; July 15, 2001

A: Spinosaurus was found in the Baharija Formation, Marsa M., Egypt.

Q: Have there been any new discoveries of dinosour bones?
from Clarissa H, ?, ?, ?; July 15, 2001

A: There are ALWAYS new discoveries of dinosaur fossils. Some recently-named dinosaur genera include: Citipati, Khaan, Planicoxa, Venenosaurus, Quilmesaurus, Bienosaurus, and Ruehleia.

Q: How many species of dinosaurs were there? What were the differences between the male and female?
from Gaby S., Fayetteville, AR, USA; July 15, 2001

A: There are about 1,000 known genera of dinosaurs and many more species. These probably represent only a fraction of the dinosaur genera that actually lived. For some species there were probably obvious physical differences in males and females (like crest size or body size), for others, the differences were probably more subtle.

from betty d., lANTANA, FL., usa; July 15, 2001

A: No. The last of the terrestrial dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago; Homo sapiens (people) evolved about 200,000 years ago.

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