Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures, I mean there’s a reason, why one of the highest-earning film franchises is based on dinosaurs. There’s something about these massive creatures that we cannot seem to get enough of. Dinosaurs first appeared during the Triassic period, between 243 and 233.23 million years ago, they were the most dominant creatures of their time, and their dominance continued throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Given their long and rich history, there are several things that you might have not known about these fascinating creatures, which is why, in this article, we will be taking a look at some of the interesting and compelling facts about dinosaurs.
Unknown Facts About Dinosaurs
Humans have only been on Earth about 2.5 million years. Dinosaurs lived on Earth for about 160 million years, which is about 64 times longer than people been around.
The time period from 250 million years ago until around 65 million years ago is known as the Mesozoic Era. It is often referred to as the Age of the Dinosaurs because most dinosaurs developed and became extinct during this time.
- In 1842, the English naturalist Sir Richard Owen coined the term Dinosauria, derived from the Greek deinos, meaning “fearfully great,” and sauros, meaning “lizard.”
- Dinosaur fossils have been found on all seven continents.
- All non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago.
- There are roughly 700 known species of extinct dinosaurs.
- Modern birds are a kind of dinosaur because they share a common ancestor with non-avian dinosaurs.
- Until recently it was believed that feathers were unique to birds. Recent discoveries, however, have unearthed evidence for feathered non-avian dinosaurs.
- It is widely agreed upon by the scientific community that many dinosaurs almost certainly evolved into birds.
- The longest dinosaur was Argentinosaurus, which measured over 40 metres, as long as four fire engines. It was also the heaviest dinosaur, weighing at 77 Tons, making it the largest land animal to have ever lived. It was part of the titanosaur group of dinosaurs. Its remains have been found in Argentina, South America.
- The smallest fully-grown fossil dinosaur is the little bird-hipped plant-eater like lesothosaurus, which was only the size of a chicken.
- Stegosaurus was the dumbest dinosaur, as it had a brain the size of a walnut – only 3 centimetres long and weighing 75 grams.
- The first dinosaur to be named was Megalosaurus. It was named in 1824 by Reverend William Buckland. Megalosaurus means ‘great lizard’ and it was about 9 metres long, and 3 metres tall.
- A person who studies dinosaurs is known as a paleontologist.
- Pterodactyls are not dinosaurs; they were flying reptiles that lived during the age of dinosaurs but by definition they do not fall into the same category. The same goes for water based reptiles such as Plesiosaurs.
- All dinosaurs fall into one of two subdivisions: Ornithischia (bird-hipped dinosaurs), and Saurischia (lizard-hipped dinosaurs).
- Even the smartest dinosaur to ever exist is about as smart as the modern day Ostrich, which isn’t very smart at all.
- The modern-day chicken is the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurus rex
- The Carnotaurus is known for having the smallest arms of any dinosaur: about 1/4 the size of their heads. They looked a bit like scaly pigeons.
- It’s speculated that Sauropods had stomachs that acted like fermentation chambers, as gas-producing bacteria was needed to help digest their fibrous diets. This meant that Sauropods would fart, a lot.
- The asteroid that is believed to have started the mass extinction event (ice age) that lead to dinosaurs going extinct, hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s actually believed to have created the Gulf of Mexico. The massive rock was 6 miles in diameter and sent shockwaves around the world.
- Based on bone evidence, scientists estimate that some dinosaurs lived to be anywhere from 75 to 300 years old.
- The Ankylosaurus’s tail was so fortified with bone and armor like hide that it could smash through a T-Rex’s ankles.
- Because of the massive size of the dinosaurs, they needed a way to stay balanced while running, and that’s where the tail comes in. That’s why the most massive dinosaurs like the Argentinosaurus and the Spinosaurus had such large tails.
- Dinosaurs eggs were extremely big, in fact they were as big as beach balls.
- Thee Hadrosaurus had over 1,000 teeth at any given time, and could grow new ones indefinitely.
- Dinosaur fossils have been found on every single continent, including Antarctica. Meaning that some dinosaurs inhabited the frozen continent, which would mean they had to be warm blooded, or the continent was in a different location at the time.
- Some of the larger plant eating dinosaurs, like the Argentinosaurus had to eat as much as a tonne of vegetation per day.
- The first dinosaurs that started to appear during the Triassic period were rather small. Larger dinosaurs like the Brachiosaurus and Triceratops didn’t show up until the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
- Roy Chapman Andrews, an American explorer found the first dinosaur nest known to science in 1923 while exploring the Gobi desert in Mongolia. Before that, scientists were unsure how dinosaur babies were born.
- In 2015, scientist discovered a new dinosaur species. They nicknamed it “Hellboy” because the stubby horns above its eyes looked like the comic book character of the same name. They also had a “hellish” time excavating it from hard rock.
- A T-rex bite was more than twice as powerful as a lion’s bite.
- Dinosaur skulls had large holes or “windows” that made their skulls lighter. Some of the largest skulls were as long as a car.
- Meat-eating dinosaurs are known as theropods, which means “beast-footed,” because they had sharp, hooked claws on their toes.
- The dinosaur with the longest name is Micropachycephalosaurus (“small thick-headed lizard”). Its fossils are usually found in China.
- Mary Anning (1799-1847) was one of the most famous of all fossil hunters. However, she was never taken as seriously as she should have been because she was a woman from a poor background whereas most scientists were men from wealthy families.
Also Read: Unknown Facts About Bhishma