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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 exactly is a
from brianne c, clevland, ?, ?; November 30, 2001
A: Dinosaurs were a type of land-dwelling reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era (from about 230 to 65 million years ago). Dinosaurs had a unique type of hip socket (different from those of other reptiles). Taxonomically, the clade of dinosaur is defined as the most recent common ancestor of Triceratops and modern-day birds, and all of the descendants (Holtz and Padian, 1995).
A: Click here.
Woolly mammoths lived from about 2 million years ago to 9,000 years ago.
A large number of dinosaurs have been found in Canada. For a page on Canadian dinosaur, click here.
A: Sauroposeidon was a saurischian (Order Saurischia) and a sauropod (Suborder Sauropoda).
A: The oldest known dinosaurs (so far) are 230-million-year old prosauropods (primitive, plant-eating dinosaurs that had a small head and a long neck) from Madagasdar.
No, it's an imaginary animal.
For a page of Triassic period dinosaurs, click here.
A: For a page on the earliest dinosaur finds, click here.
A: T. rex ate large naimals, like Triceratops. No one knows how often it ate.
It was Rochard Owen in 1842. For more information on Owen, click here.
Coelophysis is pronounced SEE-low-FIE-sis. Brachiosaurus is pronounced BRAK-e-o-SAWR-us.
So far, it is probably Argentinosaurus.
A: Stegosaurus was named by Othniel C. Marsh. The name Stegosaurus means "Covered Lizard" or "Roof lizard," probably referring to the plates.
None of the above - Archaeopteryx was a bird.
If the animal has been extinct since prehistoric times, fossils tell us almost eveything we know about it.
A: For information on Megalodon, click here.
A: A lot did, including Edmontosaurus and Anatotitan
A: For a page on Segnosaurus, click here.
When an animal walks on four legs (like Stegosaurus), measuring its height is tricky. Measuring the height from the ground to the top of the head varies with the posture of the animal, so the height from the top of the shoulder to the ground is used. Stegosaurus was about 9 feet (2.75 m) tall at the hips. For more information on Stegosaurus, click here.
About 50 Triceratops skulls and some partial skeletons have been foundTriceratops is found in late Cretaceous period sediment. For more information on Triceratops, click here.
Dinosaurs probably evolved from earlier reptiles called thecodonts.
Triceratops went extinct about 65 million years ago. For more information on Triceratops, click here.
A: Dinosaurs means fearfull-great lizard (or reptile).
Archaeopteryx is the oldest known bird.
Unfortunately, I didn't see that show, but they are incorrect. T. rex is a real species of dinosaur, and over a dozen T. rex fossils have been found, and the bones are consistent from find to find. One, a huge T. rex nicknamed Sue, is an almost complete fossil. There have been other fossils that were mistakenly thought to be one organism when in fact it was a jumble of more than one species (like the bogus genera Ultrasauros and Archaeoraptor).
A: It isn't known exactly how fast dinosaurs grew, but some paleontologists think that dinosaurs grew very quickly. Jack Horner, Kevin Padian and Armand de Ricqles have studied the microscopic structure of dinosaur bones and found that they had extensive blood vessels running through them, indicating a rapid growth rate.
A: For a page on dinosaur reproduction, click here.
A: For a geologic time scale, click here.
For a list of dinosaurs found in Argentina, click here and look at the section on Argentina. For more information on a particular dinosaur, click on the name (if it is underlined).
A: Archaeopteryx was a carnivore (a meat-eater) that probably ate tiny reptiles, small mammals (of course, most mammals were small at the time), and insects. One area in which Archaeopteryx was found, the Solnhofen area of Germany, was a stagnant lagoon during the Jurassic period (Europe was a series of islands at this time). The lagoon's waters had little or no oxygen (anoxic) near the bottom, a situation that helped preserve many dead organisms, and boost the chances of fossil formation, since decay after death is very slow in anoxic waters.
For more information on Archaeopteryx, click here.
The oldest-known dinosaurs date from about 230 million years ago.
A: Many reptiles survived the K-T extinction and made it to the Cenozoic (65 million years ago until now), including many lizards, snakes, crocodilians, etc. - but none of them were the behemoths that existed in the Mesozoic. The largest animals did not survive the K-T extinction. I've seen very interesting analyses that show that generally, species over about 6 feet in length do not survive major extinction events. Since the last mass extinction, some reptiles have grown big (especially crocodilians and the Komodo Dragon). The Australian saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the biggest (most massive) reptile alive today, growing to about 20-23 ft (6-7 m) long.
A: In Linnaeus' binomial system of classification in biology, an organism's genus name is always capitalized and the species name is in all lowercase letters. For Tyrannosaurus rex, that dinosaur's genus name is Tyrannosaurus (hence the capital T in T. rex) and its species name is rex (hence the lowercase letters). (Note - the genus is also supposed to be italicized or underlined, but unfortunately, italicization on the web in hard to read in many fonts, and underlining on the web usually means a link, so these conventions are not always used on the web.)
A: Yes, and that's the condition in which many fossils are found.
Dimetrodon was a pelycosaur (a so-called mammal-like reptile, but it wasn't a reptile) that lived during the Permian period (before the dinosaurs evolved). For more information on Dimetrodon, click here. For information on plate tectonics, click here.
Stegosaurus had leaf-shaped teeth. For more information on Stegosaurus, click here.
The Komodo dragon has a life span of about 20 years.
A: Dinosaurs and mammals both evolved during the Triassic period, roughly 230 million years ago.
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: Probably, but no one knows for sure. The dinosaur Saurornithoides had very large eyes (the eye sockets were large), so it is thought that it may have been nocturnal (most active at night).
Asteroids are rocky/metallic objects that orbits the Sun. Most asteroids orbith between Mars and Jupiter. For more information on asteroids, click here. Comets are made of ice and dust and orbit the Sun in very eccentric orbits. We can see a comet's long tail when they are near the Sun. For more information on comets, click here.
For a page on the Woolly mammoth, click here.
Woolly mammoths were herbivores (plant-eaters) that may have used their long tusks to dig in the snow for grass and other food.
Any animal (including a dinosaur) whose diet is mostly meat is called a carnivore.
A: Yes and yes. There are wonderful museums in England, including the incredible British Museum of Natural History, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK. Many dinosaur fossils have been found in England, including the first few dinosaurs scientifically described (Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus). For a page on dinosaurs found in England (and other European countries), click here.
A: Creta is the Latin word for chalk. The Cretaceous period was named for chalky rock from southeastern England that was the first Cretaceous period sediment studied. After the Mesozoic Era (the Age of Reptiles) came the Cenozoic Era (the Age of Mammals). The Cenozoic Era is divided into the Tertiary Period (65 to 1.8 million years ago) and the Quaternary Period (1.8 million years ago to today).
No one knows the population numbers for any dinosaurs (including Apatosaurus).
That theory argues that mammals liked to eat dinosaur eggs, and ate enough of them to adversely affect the survival of the dinosaurs.
A: No one knows how many different species of dinosaurs there were or what their population numbers were. There are about 1,000 known dinosaur genera and many more known species.
No, the dinosaurs lived from about 230 million to 65 million years ago; people did not evolve until millions of years later. For a chart of geologic time, click here.
Smilodon (a saber-toothed cat) was a carnivore (meat-eater) that probably ate thick-skinned animals like mastodons (hairy,
extinct elephants), horses, and bison. They used their long incisors to bite through the thick skin. For information on Smilodon, click here.
A: The Komodo dragon is at the top of its food web - no animals prey upon it.
The word dinosaur was coined by Richard Owen in 1842.
A: It varies quite a bit - many paleontologists have a Ph.D. (4 years of college and 4+ years of graduate school), but others do not.
For a page of dinosaur-related museums, click here.
A: This section is a little like jeopary - please state your query in the form of a question! For a page on dinosaurs and birds, click here.
A: Click here.
A: Click here.
A: Dinosaur fossils have been found all over the world - on all seven continents.
Hadrosaurus' diet is not known, but it was an herbivore (a plant eater) that probably ate low lying plants like ferns, cycads, horsetails, etc.
There is no theory that the dinosaurs are extinct - it is a fact.
Humans had nothing to do with the extinction of the dinosaurs, since the dinosaurs went extinct millions of years before people evolved.
A: It means lizard.
A: Coal is a combustible mineral formed from organic matter (mostly plant material) that lived about 300 million years ago (during the Pennsylvanian Period ). During the Pennsylvanian Period, the earth was covered with huge
swampy forests of giant ferns, horsetails, and club mosses. As layer upon layer of these plants died, they were compressed and covered with soil, stopping the decomposition process, forming peat. Heat and pressure chemically forced out oxygen and hydrogen, leaving carbon-rich deposits, called coal. A 20-foot-thick layer of plant material produces a one-foot-thick layer (seam) of coal.
For a page on Triceratops, click here.
A: No one knows how to clone dinosaurs, since no dinosaurs SNA is available. Using frog DNA would result in a baby frog.
A: Fossils of Stygimoloch have been found in Montana and Wyoming, USA, North America.
A: Velociraptor was a meat-eater that probably ate small dinosaurs and other animals.
I would stop listening whatever source told you that silliness.
No one knows exactly when grasses evolved, but grass is a flowering plant and flowering plants didn't evolve until the late Jurassic period.
Periods of time do not have adaptations. An adaptation is a response of an organism to changes in its environment (like the selective survival of plants with better water conservation during dry times). The Cretaceous period and the Jurassic period were periods of time (and not organisms).
A: Many other egg-laying animals lived before the dinosaurs, so the egg came first.
A: They didn't, they went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. (During their millions of years of existence, they survived like all organisms do - they lived long enough to reproduce another generation.) For a page on plesiosaurs, click here.
Click here for a page on the Mesozoic Era that includes other life forms that lived during that time.
A: Utahraptor was named by paleontologists James Kirkland, Gaston, and Burge in
A: Oddly enough, yes - click here.
A: For a page on T. rex's locomotion, click here.
A: The sauropods were herbivores (plant-eaters).
A: Spinosaurus was about 40-50 feet long (12-15 m) long. Fore information on Spinosaurus, click here.
No 100 percent complete T. rex skeletons have been found, but T. rex had about 200 or so bones.
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