A Dinosaur is an animal which belonged to the group of Dinosaurian, which is known to be extinct in today’s world. The origin of this animal can be traced back to the Triassic period which was 231.4 million years from now. At that time they were found in large numbers. This dominating species stayed on Earth for about 135 million years from their origin. They survived well till the Jurassic era and later on till the Cretaceous era also. At that time they were the most diverse species on land. About 1,000 different living species of dinosaurs were said to be present at that time. The fossils of them were found in various parts of the continents. Different parts of the animal like horns, crest, legs and spines were found which shows clear evidence of the existence all the different kinds of varieties. One such evidence, 243 million year ago, showed small fragments of this animal which confused the people.
The name ‘dinosaur’ means lazy lizard, but the name doesn’t really define the dinosaurs as they don’t match well with lizards. They are a group of reptiles because they exhibit many characters resembling a reptile. They also show some peculiar characteristics of birds. Thus, at this time, scientists were not able to clearly define their type. Dinosaurs have a distinct type of posture as well. Their hind limbs are erect like most of the animals we see today. This posture helps them to take in the air easily due to which they have stamina for a long time and this increases their endurance level considerably. If they stand erect, their limbs are stress free. Dinosaurs are known to be archosaurs, i.e., modern crocodiles. Dinosaurs stand different from the rest of the group due to their gait.
Dinosaurs are divided into two major groups Saurischia, which is group that shares many of the features with birds, and Ornithischia, a group having features similar to that of Triceratops.
When it comes to classify the dinosaurs into their huge or small size, it becomes very tough since only a part of their bodies remains as fossils, and that too in fragments. So it is becomes quite difficult to know that in how many sizes the dinosaurs actually existed. Most of the remains are buried deep in the earth such that few parts are never found. And no one knows how long the dinosaurs lived on earth. Some scientists have predicted that they lived for about 200 years, but it is not very accurate.
There are some very interesting characteristics of dinosaurs which make them very different from other animals. They used to have holes in their skull. These holes were huge and made their heads lighter. Some of the skulls found were as huge as four-wheelers. Discoverers might have found many fossils of dinosaurs, but still there are many undiscovered species deep down. There were many species of animals like ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs which used to look like dinosaurs, but actually they were not dinosaurs. Some of the dinosaurs were of the size of a normal human being, while some of them had tails which were 45 feet long. Such long tails assisted them to maintain their balance while running. Dinosaurs were egg laying reptiles. About 40 different types of eggs have been found by scientists till now.
Human have been on earth since only 2 million years ago while dinosaurs stayed on earth for over 165 million years. Through this we come to know how old the fossils must have been. Many assumptions have been made regarding the extinction of dinosaurs. Some believe that a massive meteorite hailed the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico long back and this was the main cause of extinction of dinosaurs. All the heavy animals failed to sustain this massive attack .Only the animals which were lighter than the dog were able to survive. One more theory says that many smaller mammals ate dinosaur eggs and their population started reducing day by day until a day came when there were no more eggs and thus no dinosaurs. In a similar way, many other possibilities were put forward by the scientists and archeologists. None of them have actually been confirmed till date. Initially, the dinosaurs were known to be carnivores, but later on when they explored the land more and more they all started eating grasses, plants, and leaves to turn in to herbivores.
Dinosaurs were known to be huge sized and heavy in weight but it is a lesser known fact that there was a species named ‘Baby Mosasaurs’ which were very small in size; so small that they would easily fit themselves inside a normal plastic bag. Moreover, the smallest ones among them were the smartest animals. Dinosaurs had an excellent defense system. Most of them had green and brown scales all over them to protect them from predators. The scientists also assumed that like lizards and snakes, the skin of dinosaur also sheds away. They were no different from the animals we see today. They also protected their babies from other animals and build nests to lay eggs. Those eating plants used to stay together in groups like the herds we see today. Some of them lived in deep forests while others used to live near the water bodies. It is observed the fossils found near the water areas are fresher than those found under deep rocks.
Each dinosaur with some peculiar habitat or feature was named differently. There were some really unique ones which had qualities different from others. Siesmosaurus was known to be the longest dinosaurs of all times. Its length was about 40 meters and if we look at the total size, it was about five double- dickered buses put together. The heaviest dinosaur of all was Brachiosaurus. Its weight was almost 80 tones. If you still don’t get its estimate then you can say its weight was equal to 16 elephants put together. Fossil remains of Brachiosaurus are preserved in the museum till date. And it is the largest fossil fuel that is known to be preserved in any museum. It’s not only about the size; some of the dinosaurs were very witty and intelligent. Troodon, the wittiest dinosaur in the group, was a hunting dinosaur. Its size was normal and it had a normal brain size but it was known to have had great grasping skills and a stereoscopic vision. If there were some huge sized dinosaurs, then some little dinosaurs were also believed to exist. It was a little bird –sized herbivores dinosaur. Its size was equal to that of a chicken.
Dinosaurs were believed to be found in many parts of the earth. They were smart and their brains were of a considerably large size. Many theories have proven that dinosaurs are extinct species but in reality dinosaurs are not extinct but they are alive as birds. Birds are sometimes referred to as living dinosaurs. The huge size of dinosaurs is due to the fact that they grow very fast and are warm-blooded animals. If all the credit goes to the scientists, then it is a known fact that many of the fossils were found by common man and amateurs.
Although dinosaurs don’t exist today and we can no longer see them, many traces for them are found deep down in untouched areas. Every now and then, new theories and facts about them are revealed. At the end, social media has covered all the information about dinosaurs so brilliantly that we can see them live even today in movies and documentaries. A number of movies have been made based on this concept. They give the audience a deep insight about the world at the time of dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs were known to be the oldest living species on earth. There are lots of facts one needs to know about their existence and life on earth.
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