9 Dinosaurs that marked the planet

How the dinosaurs appeared is clear, but it’s not so clear how they dissapeared. One thing’s for sure, they ruled this planet for a significant amount of time. But how much truth is behind this avalanche of publicity and fiction, and which dinosaurs are the true leaders of these amazing lizards?? Here’s just a small list, by no means comprehensive of these vertebrates which dominated the earth for a period of about 160 millions of years. As a matter of fact, there are about 10 000 species of dinosaurs living today, but we know them as birds.

  • Amphicoelias fragillimus

There’s a really big chance this name won’t say anything to you; it didn’t to tell anything to scientists until a few years ago. Despite the fact that no full fossils have been found, it is widely regarded as the larges dinosaur to have ever lived, coming close to the biggest animal of all time, the blue whale. It’s believed to be the larges vertebrade, varying in length from 40 to 60 meters. The femur of Amphicoelias is unusually long, slender, and round in cross section, and it is very fragile, which is why scientists have nick named it the crumbling giant.

  • Velociraptor

Jumping from the biggest to a (relatively) small dinosaur, you’d never suspect that this “little” dinosaur was in fact the most feared predator for most dinosaur herbivores. Measuring about 2 meters, it walked on two legs and were similar in construction in many ways to birds. Actually, there are some reasons to believe that these dinosaurs were covered in feathers, which would mean that our perception of them could be totally wrong. If we were to see one of these cooperative hunters today, perhaps we would think that we are looking at a very strange bird.

  • Brachiosaurus

Brachiosaurus is another huge creature, actually the tallest of all dinosaurs. Its name means “armed lizard”, and it was named in this way because its forelimbs are bigger than the hind limbs. It is not certain if it was cold blooded or warm blooded, which leads to the fact that scientists are not sure how much it would take to mature (in the first case 100 years, in the second 10 years). It is believed that due to the size and the fact that it walked in herds, it had nothing to fear from even the biggest predators.

  • Tyrannosaurus rex

With a name that means tyrant king, T. Rex is the most known dinosaur in the world today, but not just due to its amazing characteristics. It had a huge massive had, which was balanced only by the huge tail in the back. Still, the general image of this creature is not accurate, because research showed that it was mostly a scavenger, hunting only on rare ocasions; still, that debate is not yet settled. This fact could have other implications, showing how well it could turn and how fast it could run. Still, it remains one of the biggest predators ever, and it’s definitely a badge for the jurassic period.

  • Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

T Rex may be the well known, but Spinosaurus was by far the biggest predator of all dinosaurs. The bad thing is that many remains have been destroyed so scientists are not very sure just what its appearance was, but they made some pretty accurate appreciations, using the few remains they found. This dinosaur had a sail which was formed of very tall neural spines growing on the back vertebra; these spines were huge, growing up to eleven times the height of the vertebrae from which they grew, reaching two meters. There is also some speculation that Spinosaurus was a fisher, but the most probable thing is that ate terrestrial and aquatic.

  • Triceratops

Triceratops was one of the latest herbivorous dinosaurs that appeared, and it’s very easy to recognize because of the horns which resemble a rhinoceros. Actually, the name means three horned. They probably had up to 9 meters, and the head could be to about a third of the body. The classic believe is that horns were used for defence against predators, but more recently, the theory is that they were used as to court the females, in a pretty similar way to deers or other horned animals today.

  • Ichthyosaur

It’s time to move to the aquatic dinosaurs; Ichthyosaurs in particular were giant marine reptiles that resembled fish and dolphins, reigning pretty much in all of the mesozoic period. That is until they were surpassed in efficiency by the plesiosaurs. Some species of Ichthyosaurs lived to huge sizes, up to 15 meters, but the latest ones were a bit smaller.

  • Plesiosaurs

Plesiosaurs were the best aquatic predators that the jurassic period had to show. Imposing in the dangerous waters of the age was by no means an easy task, and it truly required some amazing abilities. They developed and thrived with no real opposition, until the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, which occured approximately 65.5 million years ago. They had a small head and long neck, and were actually slow swimmers. But they used the neck to create really fast movements of the head, grabbing fish or cephalopods. Also, they presented an unbelievable evolutionary trait, four flippers, which gave them great mobility so they could rotate their body too.

  • Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx was not a dinosaur, but rather the link between dinosaurs and birds. Similar in size to modern day birds, it was just about 0.5 metres long. It has broad wings, feathers, and is able to fly, but it still has more in common with dinosaurs, such as jaws with sharp teeth, three fingers with claws, a long bony tail, hyperextensible second toes (“killing claw”), feathers (which also suggest homeothermy), and various skeletal features. It is a key element in the evolutionary debate, and one of the most studied creatures of all time.



20 thoughts on “9 Dinosaurs that marked the planet

  1. Leo Petr

    Velociraptors lived in the Cretaceous, not the Jurassic. Ditto for T-rex, Triceratops, Archeopteryx, and Spinosaurus.

    Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur aren’t dinosaurs in the first place.

    In fact, let me list the ones you got right: Amphicoelias and Brachiosaurus.

  2. Dave

    Leo pretty much covers it there….who wrote this nonsense? My 6 year old knows that T Rex isn’t from the Jurassic period…I would hope someone who went to the effort of writing an actual document on the subject would do 7 or 8 minutes of research.

  3. Garrett

    From the NY Times: The notion of a “missing link” is an out-of-date misconception about how evolution works. Archaeopteryx (and other feathered fossils) shows how a branch of reptiles gradually acquired both the unique anatomy and flying adaptations found in all modern birds. It is a transitional fossil. These fossils are not direct ancestors of modern birds but relatives.

  4. Dave

    Also, I just took a quick look at the wording of the article, and it struck me as rather….plagiarized. I grabbed an obvious phrase – “feathers (which also suggest homeothermy)” and I see that it has been copied right off of Wikipedia. So I checked “The femur of Amphicoelias is unusually long, slender, and round in cross section”…same result. Almost the entire article has been directly copied…and yet you STILL got your facts wrong.

    Ultrafail.

  5. jhon

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    9 Dinosaurs that marked the planet
    Sun, Aug 24, 2008
    Domestic Science, Feature Post, Geology

    How the dinosaurs appeared is clear, but it’s not so clear how they dissapeared. One thing’s for sure, they ruled
    Mercy Adekanle: But how much truth is behind this avalanche of publicity and fiction, and which dinosaurs are the true leaders of these amazing lizards?? Here’s just a small list, by no means comprehensive of these vertebrates which dominated the earth for a period of about 160 millions of years. As a matter of fact, there are about 10 000 species of dinosaurs living today, but we know them as birds.

    Amphicoelias fragillimus But how much truth is behind this avalanche of publicity and fiction, and which dinosaurs are the true leaders of these amazing lizards?? Here’s just a small list, by no means comprehensive of these vertebrates which dominated the earth for a period of about 160 millions of years. As a matter of fact, there are about 10 000 species of dinosaurs living today, but we know them as birds.

    Amphicoelias fragillimus

    There’s a really big chance this name won’t say anything to you; it didn’t to tell anything to scientists until a few years ago. Despite the fact that no full fossils have been found, it is widely regarded as the larges dinosaur to have ever lived, coming close to the biggest animal of all time, the blue whale. It’s believed to be the larges vertebrade, varying in length from 40 to 60 meters. The femur of Amphicoelias is unusually long, slender, and round in cross section, and it is very fragile, which is why scientists have nick named it the crumbling giant.

    Velociraptor

    Jumping from the biggest to a (relatively) small dinosaur, you’d never suspect that this “little” dinosaur was in fact the most feared predator for most dinosaur herbivores. Measuring about 2 meters, it walked on two legs and were similar in construction in many ways to birds. Actually, there are some reasons to believe that these dinosaurs were covered in feathers, which would mean that our perception of them could be totally wrong. If we were to see one of these cooperative hunters today, perhaps we would think that we are looking at a very strange bird.

    Brachiosaurus

    Brachiosaurus is another huge creature, actually the tallest of all dinosaurs. Its name means “armed lizard”, and it was named in this way because its forelimbs are bigger than the hind limbs. It is not certain if it was cold blooded or warm blooded, which leads to the fact that scientists are not sure how much it would take to mature (in the first case 100 years, in the second 10 years). It is believed that due to the size and the fact that it walked in herds, it had nothing to fear from even the biggest predators.

    Tyrannosaurus rex

    With a name that means tyrant king, T. Rex is the most known dinosaur in the world today, but not just due to its amazing characteristics. It had a huge massive had, which was balanced only by the huge tail in the back. Still, the general image of this creature is not accurate, because research showed that it was mostly a scavenger, hunting only on rare ocasions; still, that debate is not yet settled. This fact could have other implications, showing how well it could turn and how fast it could run. Still, it remains one of the biggest predators ever, and it’s definitely a badge for the jurassic period.

    Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

    T Rex may be the well known, but Spinosaurus was by far the biggest predator of all dinosaurs. The bad thing is that many remains have been destroyed so scientists are not very sure just what its appearance was, but they made some pretty accurate appreciations, using the few remains they found. This dinosaur had a sail which was formed of very tall neural spines growing on the back vertebra; these spines were huge, growing up to eleven times the height of the vertebrae from which they grew, reaching two meters. There is also some speculation that Spinosaurus was a fisher, but the most probable thing is that ate terrestrial and aquatic.

    Triceratops

    Triceratops was one of the latest herbivorous dinosaurs that appeared, and it’s very easy to recognize because of the horns which resemble a rhinoceros. Actually, the name means three horned. They probably had up to 9 meters, and the head could be to about a third of the body. The classic believe is that horns were used for defence against predators, but more recently, the theory is that they were used as to court the females, in a pretty similar way to deers or other horned animals today.

    Ichthyosaur

    It’s time to move to the aquatic dinosaurs; Ichthyosaurs in particular were giant marine reptiles that resembled fish and dolphins, reigning pretty much in all of the mesozoic period. That is until they were surpassed in efficiency by the plesiosaurs. Some species of Ichthyosaurs lived to huge sizes, up to 15 meters, but the latest ones were a bit smaller.

    Plesiosaurs

    Plesiosaurs were the best aquatic predators that the jurassic period had to show. Imposing in the dangerous waters of the age was by no means an easy task, and it truly required some amazing abilities. They developed and thrived with no real opposition, until the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, which occured approximately 65.5 million years ago. They had a small head and long neck, and were actually slow swimmers. But they used the neck to create really fast movements of the head, grabbing fish or cephalopods. Also, they presented an unbelievable evolutionary trait, four flippers, which gave them great mobility so they could rotate their body too.

    Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx was not a dinosaur, but rather the link between dinosaurs and birds. Similar in size to modern day birds, it was just about 0.5 metres long. It has broad wings, feathers, and is able to fly, but it still has more in common with dinosaurs, such as jaws with sharp teeth, three fingers with claws, a long bony tail, hyperextensible second toes (”killing claw”), feathers (which also suggest homeothermy), and various skeletal features. It is a key element in the evolutionary debate, and one of the most studied creatures of all time.

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    Written by Mihai Andrei
    Archaeopteryx, dinosaurs, rex, triceratops

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    9 Comments For This Post
    Leo Petr Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 4:25 pm
    Velociraptors lived in the Cretaceous, not the Jurassic. Ditto for T-rex, Triceratops, Archeopteryx, and Spinosaurus.

    Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur aren’t dinosaurs in the first place.

    In fact, let me list the ones you got right: Amphicoelias and Brachiosaurus.

    Dave Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 5:00 pm
    Leo pretty much covers it there….who wrote this nonsense? My 6 year old knows that T Rex isn’t from the Jurassic period…I would hope someone who went to the effort of writing an actual document on the subject would do 7 or 8 minutes of research.

    Someone Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 5:45 pm
    Prehistoric FAIL!

    This sites tag line should read – Its not exactly SCIENCE.

    James Hudnall Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 6:31 pm
    You left off giant robots.

    Garrett Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 7:18 pm
    From the NY Times: The notion of a “missing link” is an out-of-date misconception about how evolution works. Archaeopteryx (and other feathered fossils) shows how a branch of reptiles gradually acquired both the unique anatomy and flying adaptations found in all modern birds. It is a transitional fossil. These fossils are not direct ancestors of modern birds but relatives.

    Dave Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 7:57 pm
    Also, I just took a quick look at the wording of the article, and it struck me as rather….plagiarized. I grabbed an obvious phrase – “feathers (which also suggest homeothermy)” and I see that it has been copied right off of Wikipedia. So I checked “The femur of Amphicoelias is unusually long, slender, and round in cross section”…same result. Almost the entire article has been directly copied…and yet you STILL got your facts wrong.

    Ultrafail.

    Every child ever Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 8:30 pm
    Epoch Fail!

    girl with a brain Says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 10:19 pm
    dude seriously?

    shane Says:
    December 4th, 2008 at 12:19 pm
    i love looking at dinosaurs when im baked that was fun.

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  6. Andy

    PRONUNCIATION: veh-loss-ih-RAP-tor
    TRANSLATION: Quick Plunderer or Rapid Robber
    DESCRIPTION: Carnivore,Bipedal
    ORDER: Saurischia
    SUBORDER: Theropoda
    INFRAORDER: Tetanurae
    MICRO-ORDER: Maniraptora (of the micro-order Coelurosauria)
    FAMILY: Dromaeosauridae
    HEIGHT: 2.5 feet (0.8 meters)
    LENGTH: 5.9 feet (1.8 meters)
    WEIGHT: 200 pounds (113 kg)
    PERIOD: Late Cretaceous

  7. Andy

    Tyrannosaurus rex lived in forested river valleys in North America during the late Cretaceous period. It became extinct about 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction.

  8. Neovenator

    OK article except for a few factual errors. T. rex DID NOT LIVE in the Jurassic. Ithyosaurs and Pleisiosaurs were not dinosaurs but Archaeopteryx WAS (Birds are the descendants of the most recent common ancestor of Iguanadon and Megalosaurus, the first two dinosaurs described by science, thus making them dinosaurs).

  9. Neovenator

    Also, its doubtful Velociraptor DIDN’T have feathers seeing as how every Dromeosaur (the family Velociraptor comes from) fossil found with skin impressions shows fully formed feathers. Also, even though it is lesser known than its cousin, Deinonychus was a more important find than Velociraptor. It made people start to think dinosaurs were warm-blooded and also reingited the Dinosaurs-to-birds theory. And on top of that, the “Velociraptors” in Jurassic Park were actually modeled after Deinonychus; Velociraptor was actually about the size of a dog

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