With large reptiles on the big screen with sharp teeth and menacing roars, you might wonder, were the dinosaurs real? Given that the largest creatures today live in the ocean, many people find it difficult to imagine a world teeming with such enormous creatures.
Were Dinosaurs Real?
Dinosaurs, yes, they existed. Although many civilizations are likely discovered bones before the current one, they attribute the first recorded discovery of a dinosaur bone to Robert Plot in 1622.
He assumed the bone came from a giant human at the time because he had no context for it. That belief persisted until William Buckland, a geologist and museum curator, discovered more bones in the nineteenth century.
The bones he discovered matched those discovered by Robert Plot two hundred years before. Buckland examined the bones they gave him to examine—jaws, limbs, and teeth—and determined that they were all from the same creature.
Proves To Show They were Actually Real
The term “dinosaur” had not yet been invented. He thought what he discovered in 1824 was an ancient lizard. Buckland is the first person to be credited with naming a dinosaur.
Another person, Mary Ann Mantell, discovered bones two years before his official name. She fashioned a creature that resembled an iguana.
As a result, she gave the creature the name Iguanadon. Even before the term “dinosaur,” this was the second dinosaur to be named. Sir Richard Owen didn’t realize the bones belonged to a new species of ancient creature until 1842.
How Long Ago Did Dinosaurs Live?
One of the most perplexing aspects of dinosaurs is determining how long they lived. The first dinosaurs were discovered 245 million years ago, according to historical records.
They covered every continent, showing that they existed long before humans. The Triassic Period was the first time dinosaurs lived on Earth.
This ranges from 250 million to 200 million years ago. The Jurassic Period followed, lasting 200 million years to 145 million years ago.
What Dinosaurs Lived During The Triassic Period?
Most of the dinosaurs we know today are from the Cretaceous Period. This is because this time period is the most similar to our own.
It’s also closer to the surface in geological studies, so paleontologists can find it faster and easier than other periods
Some known dinosaur species originated during the Triassic Period. The following are some Triassic Period dinosaurs.
Chindesaurus lived in the Late Triassic Period and originated in what is now America. This means it existed between 227 million and 210 million years ago.
Although They haven’t discovered the skull yet, paleontologists have discovered leg and tail bones. These findings suggested Chindesaurus had a long whip-like tail and long legs.
The dinosaur could reach the average person’s chest, according to estimates. It’s classified as a small theropod with a carnivorous diet. It received its name in 1995.
Coelophysis also existed between 225 million and 190 million years ago, during the Late Triassic Period. It ate carnivorous animals and was quite small. Its body was two meters long and weighed only about 27 kilograms.
One characteristic of Ceolophysis that was shared by other dinosaurs at the time was its hollow bones. Their hollow bones allowed them to be light and quick to move.
Dinosaurs were not at the top of the food chain during this time period. As a result, in order to survive and eat, they had to rely on speed and agility.
3. The Eoraptor
The Eoraptor, discovered in what is now Argentina, was another small carnivorous dinosaur. One of its most intriguing characteristics is its teeth.
It had razor-sharp teeth that were curved backwards despite their small size. This enabled them to easily shred meat
The Eoraptor, according to paleontologists, acted more like a scavenger or an ambush predator than a predator on its own.
Riojasaurus is another dinosaur discovered in Argentina. They have discovered so far only 20 skeletons of this rare dinosaur. This was a larger dinosaur with a length of 5.15 meters.
The Riojasaurus had a long neck, similar to the Brontosaurus that would follow. It ate various leaves and herbs with its long neck.
Scientists discovered, however, that this species did not eat only vegetation. They ate everything. It lived between 221 million and 210 million years ago, during the Late Triassic Period.
Staurikosaurus was one of the first dinosaurs to live during the Triassic Period. This was a large theropod, measuring two meters. It was also a carnivore.
They discovered it in Brazil at first.
The Liliensternus dinosaur was another small theropod from the Triassic Period that was thought to have preyed on insects.
It existed between 205 and 202 million years ago. It was five meters long, and they discovered its skeleton in France and Germany.
What Dinosaurs Lived During The Jurassic Period?
While dinosaurs first appeared during the Triassic Period, it wasn’t until the Jurassic Period that they reached their peak.
Based on the availability of fossils, this period gives rise to the dinosaurs that are better known in history. Here are a few examples of Jurassic Period dinosaurs.
1. The Allosaurus
The Allosaurus was a powerful predator during the Late Jurassic Period. It existed between 156 million and 144 million years ago. Its teeth were one reason it was such an effective predator.
The Allosaurus had serrated teeth that looked like daggers. They were five to ten centimeters long and even curved backward to prevent their prey from fleeing. The Allosaurus was also a large dinosaur.
It was 12 meters long and weighed an average of 2,000 kilograms or about 4,400 pounds! Today, it would tower over humans. They’d be roughly the size of an Allosaurus’ leg. Paleontologists in both Portugal and the United States have discovered allosaurus bones.
However, not all dinosaurs during the Jurassic period ate meat. The Brachiosaurus, one of the largest dinosaurs, ate leaves and other herbs. This creature’s long neck has evolved to allow it to more easily reach the tops of trees.
This enormous dinosaur grew to be 30 meters long. The average person would be lucky to get close to the Brachiosaurus’ calf. It lived between 155 and 140 million years ago.
Paleontologists have discovered its bones in a variety of locations around the world, including Portugal, Algeria, the United States, and even Tanzania are among the countries involved.
The Archaeopteryx was one of the first birds to evolve into modern species. The reptile, which was thought to have wings on its scaly body, lived approximately 147 million years ago.
It would eventually branch into the Cretaceous Period. This was a small dinosaur that grew to be less than half a meter long. However, it was a meat-eater with several conical-shaped teeth on the top of its jaw.
Archaeopteryx most likely ate small mammals, insects, and smaller lizards, according to paleontologists. The only place they have discovered this dinosaur is in Germany.
There has been some discussion about how the Diplodocus dinosaur kept its neck upright. Paleontologists have often wondered how its body supported such a long neck, which brought its length to around 26 meters.
According to one theory, ligaments connected the neck to the skeleton, allowing Diplodocus to hold its neck horizontally without the use of muscles.
Another theory about the Diplodocus is that it had small, pointy spines running down its back to keep predators from biting it.
The Stegosaurus is another well-known herbivore. Paleontologists have discovered many Stegosaurus bones, allowing them to better understand this dinosaur.
The Stegosaurus it had a spiky tail, which it most likely used to defend itself against Allosauruses and other carnivores. They know it had plates on its back, but they’re not sure what they were for.
It attached these plates to the skin rather than the bones, making removal easier, albeit just as painful.
What Dinosaurs Lived In The Cretaceous Period?
One of the most well-known dinosaur groups lived during the Cretaceous Period. Paleontologists have discovered many fossils of various dinosaur pieces from this time period.
The following are some of the Cretaceous Period dinosaurs.
The Carnotaurus was an early predator of the Cretaceous Period. Despite being smaller than the T-Rex, the Carnotaurus was a formidable predator.
It measured 7.6 meters and stood taller than the average human. It’s also famous for its horns, which give it a bull-like appearance. They discovered the Carnotaurus in Argentina 70 million years ago.
The Gallimimus, whose name means “chicken mimic,” was a well-known omnivore. It probably ate plants and insects. This prehistoric dinosaur is like the modern chicken because of its long legs, which it used to flee from predators.
The Gallimimus was six meters (almost 20 feet) long and weighed around 200 kilograms (441 pounds). They discovered these bones for the first time in Mongolia.
3. The Oviraptor
The Oviraptor is one of the strangest dinosaurs. Despite having an omnivorous diet, this was a smaller dinosaur with no teeth. Instead, it had a powerful beak with which it ate shellfish, hard fruits, and even eggs.
It lived between 85 and 75 million years ago, and they discovered its bones in Mongolia. It was also quite short, measuring only two meters on average.
Although little is known about the Spinosaurus because paleontologists have only discovered a few fossils, paleontologists believe it was the longest meat-eater.
It was more slender than either the T. Rex or the Giganotosaurus, but it was the longest at 18 meters (59 feet). Its teeth were flat and blade-like. Its diet was most likely made up of fish and smaller dinosaurs.
The Spinosaurus is known for being a water-dwelling creature, but its legs allowed it to move on land as well. It lived between 95 and 70 million years ago.
5. Tyrannosaurus Rex
The T. Rex is one of the most well-known dinosaurs. With its 60 teeth, this large reptile had incredible biting power. Each tooth was eight inches long and capable of crushing bones.
They estimated it had three times the biting power of a lion. It was 12 meters (39 feet) long and weighed around 7,000 kilograms (over 15,000 pounds!). It lived between 68 and 66 million years ago.
Paleontologists in both Canada and the United States have discovered its bones. Another discovery about the T. Rex is that it functioned as both a predator and a scavenger.
Although there are several types of raptors, the Velociraptor has garnered a lot of attention from dinosaur enthusiasts over the years. There are also many myths about what the velociraptor looked like.
It was quite small. It was only 1.8 meters long and could only reach the waist of a human. They also adorned it with feathers.
However, another recent discovery, the Utahraptor, is larger than most other raptors, reaching up to a human’s chest, if not higher. The Velociraptor had extremely pointed, short teeth. They lived between 74 and 70 million years ago.
What Killed The Dinosaurs?
Given how ferocious dinosaurs can be and how large they can grow, humans would have had a difficult time coexisting with them.
Fortunately for humans, there was an extinction event that resulted in the extinction of most dinosaur species.
The currently accepted theory for what happened to the dinosaurs is that when an asteroid collided with the Earth, it killed them.
They have accepted this theory because it also corresponds to the time when most non-bird dinosaurs died out. Aside from destroying the area, the asteroid caused massive tidal waves that washed over several earthly surfaces.
Wildfires also erupted, destroying even more areas of the world. They also hampered plant growth prior to the asteroid’s impact. Although the advancing asteroid did not completely obscure the sun, it obstructed much of it.
This meant that the plants couldn’t thrive as much as they used to. The herbivores starved to death as food became scarce. This affected the rest of the food chain as well.
The Volcanic Fury Theory
Other scientists, however, believe that the evidence for a massive meteor impact event is inconclusive and that the more likely culprit is Earth itself.
Ancient lava flows known as the Deccan Traps in India appear to coincide with the end of the Cretaceous period, with massive lava outpourings occurring between 60 and 65 million years ago.
Today, the resulting volcanic rock covers nearly 200,000 square miles in layers that are up to 6,000 feet thick in places.
Why The Volcanic Fury Theory Might Be Right
Proponents of this theory point to several indicators that show volcanism is a better fit. For example, some studies show that the Earth’s temperature was changing even before the proposed impact event.
Other studies have discovered evidence for mass extinctions much earlier than 66 million years ago, with some evidence that dinosaurs, in particular, were already in a slow decline in the late Cretaceous.
Volcanic activity is common on Earth and is a cause of other ancient extinctions, whereas giant meteor strikes are much rarer.
Where Did Dinosaurs Live?
Dinosaurs existed on all continents. They arranged together with the continents as a single supercontinent called Pangea at the beginning of the dinosaur age (around 230 million years ago), during the Triassic Period.
During the 165 million years of dinosaur existence, this supercontinent gradually disintegrated. Plate tectonics spread its fragments across the globe, resulting in a nearly modern arrangement.
When sediment covers the remains of an animal (or plant), fossils form. Minerals in the sediment will be absorbed by the remains and gradually converted to stone by chemical processes.
Fossils can also form when the remains of an animal are completely broken down, leaving only the shape of the animal in the surrounding rock. The dinosaur-shaped hole in the rock becomes the fossil.
When sediment enters these holes and hardens into rock, another type of fossil is formed. Oh, and not only animals and plants can be fossilized. Coprolites (fossilized droppings) and dinosaur footprints have also been discovered.
Fossil Remain Proves That They Actually Existed
They have discovered dinosaur fossils on every continent, including Antarctica. Paleontologists (paleontologists in America) are scientists who study dinosaur fossils.
They combine their knowledge of rocks, chemistry, zoology, and other disciplines to create a complete picture of how dinosaurs looked and behaved.
There are many well-known dinosaur fossil sites around the world. One of the most well-known is Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado, USA, where paleontologists discovered Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus, and Allosaurus.
What Can We Tell From Fossils?
We can learn a surprising amount about dinosaurs from their fossils. Not only can we get a sense of what the dinosaur looked like, but we can also get a sense of how it moved and behaved.
The depth at which they buried a fossil, as well as the type of rock in which it was discovered, all provide information about when the dinosaur lived.
It is critical to know where the fossil was discovered. It could have lived near (or in) a river, lake, or sea. They could have discovered it alongside many other specimens of the same dinosaur, implying that it lived in herds.
Where to See Dinosaurs
If you still don’t believe dinosaurs existed, why not go see them for yourself? Okay, not in the flesh, but you get the idea.
You can find dinosaur fossils in many small, local museums. However, if you want to get a sense of the true size of the largest dinosaurs, you’ll need to visit a large museum with a dinosaur exhibition.
There is a museum für Naturkunde in Germany. The massive Giraffatitan–the world’s largest mounted dinosaur – can be found here.
The Natural History Museum in London houses an Iguanodon, a Triceratops skull, and the massive, fish-eating Baryonyx.
More Information on Where to See Dinosaurs
The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Australia, houses the largest collection of dinosaur and prehistoric fossils in the country. This is including 23 complete skeletons.
Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex, the world’s largest and best-preserved T Rex fossil, is housed at Chicago’s Field Museum.
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center houses 28 mounted dinosaurs, including a massive, complete Supersaurus skeleton and North America’s only Archaeopteryx.
The dinosaurs were real reptilian creatures who lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Although traces of their descendants can still be found today, the dinosaurs that once ruled the earth are long extinct.
A combination of climate change and volcanic activity caused their extinction, but it was an asteroid strike that did them in.
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