What were dinosaurs?
Dinosaurs are a group of lizards, or reptiles, that flourished in the Mesozoic era - the era of average life on our planet. Other species of reptiles — crocodile-like, flying lizards, flat-toothed and snake-like, fish-like and scaly species of lizards, also lived on the Earth with them. The differences between dinosaurs were so great that scientists establish their family ties with great difficulty. Dinosaurs were about the size of a cat or a chicken, and were about the size of a whale. Some moved on four paws, others ran on two. Among them were bloodthirsty killers and predators, agile hunters, as well as herbivorous and harmless species.
But there is one unifying feature, they were all terrestrial animals, their paws were located below the hull, and not on its sides like most of the current lizards. Therefore, dinosaurs can still be called jogging reptiles. What were dinosaurs, at the moment it is not known exactly. Archaeological excavations are still underway, as a result of which, more and more new types of dinosaurs are discovered every year.Over 150 years of work of paleontologists, with the help of remains and skeletons, about 500 species of these animals were discovered. But in fact, over 10,000 remains have been found. And this indicates that there could be more than 4,000 species of dinosaurs that lived in different eras of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
If you look at the comparative characteristics of what the dinosaurs used to be, you will notice a tendency of their great diversity and prevalence around the globe. Dinosaurs flew, swam, crawled, they were of various sizes and bizarre forms:
- Notozavry and flatheads were similar to modern lizards with a crest, with a flattened swimming tail on each side.
- Crocodiles and Mososaurs were elongated, and moved by means of convoluted movements of the tail.
- Plesiosaurs, sea turtles, pliosaurs resembled a lizard with a crest, and hind limbs were used as fins.
- Fish-like lizards, which were similar to dolphins, resembled fish in their form, and moved in the water with the help of a tail.
- The distinctive difference between flying dinosaurs was the presence of their wings, covered with a leather membrane, like modern bats.And the fourth finger, from which the skin was stretched, was very elongated.
Well, now let's talk about records. Are you curious to know which is the largest dinosaur, and which is the smallest, which is predatory, and which is herbivorous? Records among dinosaurs consider below:
- The smallest dinosaur is a cosmognatus, the length of which was about 70 cm and its weight was about 3 kg.
- The tallest dinosaur is a brachiosaurus, whose length reaches 23 meters and its weight was 30-40 tons.
- The longest dinosaur - diplodocus, whose length could reach 52 meters.
- The most toothy dinosaur is ornithomimid, which had about 220 sharp teeth.
- The smartest dinosaur is presumably troodontid, which had the largest brain in terms of body size with other dinosaurs.
- The largest and heaviest dinosaur, apparently, was a titanosaur, which lived in the Antarctic and weighed about 100 tons according to some calculations.
The most common types
Well, our last question regarding which types of dinosaurs were the most common, and to this day find the largest number of their remains. This is Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus.
- Triceratops is a horned, herbivorous dinosaur that lived on Earth in the Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago. He had three large horns on his head, for which he received the name. It weighed about 12 tons, and in length was about 9 meters.
- Tyrannosaurus - sometimes the most famous now lizard. The largest predator, whose weight reached 4 tons, and a height of about 6 meters. All tyrannosaurs had powerful heads and jaws, and the length of the teeth could reach 15 centimeters!
- Pterodactyl - inhabited the Earth about 150 - 70 million years ago. The flying lizard, with a long mouth littered with sharp teeth, mainly fed on fish and small creatures. Wingspan could reach 16 meters.
- Diplodocus is a herbivorous dinosaur that lived about 150 million years ago. Paleontologists found the remains of these giants in the best preserved form and therefore, in museums there are practically their entire skeletons. It is believed that this may be the longest land dinosaur, according to scientists, its length could reach 52 meters.