in great numbers some 230 millions of years ago (only to die out during a mass
extinction at the end of the Cretaceous
period) dinosaurs still manage to make their presence felt everywhere.
they are a favorite subject of books and video games, while also becoming the major draw of natural history museum
And, of course, dinosaur movies are almost guaranteed to pack 'em in at theaters worldwide.
BIG, in fact,
is the operative word when it comes to dinosaurs, who walked the planet for some 150 million years. and today ranked as one of the most successful species ever (compared to humans -- who have only been around for a mere 10,000 years.)
And, further exploration awaits as dinosaur hunters predict there are thousands of species yet to be found.
DID YOU KNOW? Dinosaur trivia & fun facts:
• Before dinosaurs were scientifically classifed, the ancient Chinese thought they were the bones of dragons. Medieval Europeans thought they were the remains of giants.
• The tallest dinosaur ever discovered was the giraffe-necked Sauroposeidon, meaning "earthquake god lizard". Fully grown it stood nearly 60 feet high or about the size of a five-story building.
• Resembling an ostrich or emu, the fastest dinosaurs were the ornithomimids or "bird mimic" dinosaurs, such as Dromiceiomimus which could hit speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
• The dinosaur with the longest name? That was the Micropachycephalosaurus, pronounced my-crow-pak-ee-sef-uh-low-saw-rus meaning "tiny thick-headed lizard".
• Are there no flying dinosaurs? While they continue to fascinate kids of all ages, , Pterodactyls were not dinosaurs at all but are classified as flying reptiles that lived during the age of the dinosaurs.
• Quick! What is the name of the dinosaur that translates to "fast thief"? Answer: The velociraptor. It was known as an ambush hunter with keen eyesight and agile movements made famous by Jurassic Park.
The tallest dinosaur,
the Sauroposeidon, (left) stood about five stories high and would have dwarfed the
tallest human (center). The smallest dinosaur, the Lesothosaurus, (right) was about the size of a small dog.
Dinosaurs also loom large on the Web, with top sites offering
the latest updates from dinosaur hunters on recent discoveries,
galleries of dinosaur pictures & illustrations, videos, historical
timelines, kid-friendly resources & fun facts, and more on paleontology and dinosaur fossils ...
- Check out the grand overview from Wikipedia on their natural history and evolution,
a look at feathered dinosaurs and the origin of birds, theories
on dinosaur extinction, current controversies,
and the dinosaur's place in pop culture.
Dinosauria - Discover a full menu on popular misconceptions arising from books
& movies, answers to commonly asked questions, and more at DinoBuzz
sponsored by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.
- Listen to audio files for learning how to pronounce more than 300 dinosaur names browseable
in an A-Z list including notes on order classification, eating habits, weight
& size, and charts illustrating their relative size to humans.