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Dinosaurs


Dinosaurs are massive, reptile-like creatures that lived on Earth millions of years ago. Dinosaurs get a bad reputation for being scary, dangerous, and carnivorous, but many species of dinosaurs were peaceful vegetarians. Dinosaurs lived from 245 and 66 million years ago during the Mesozoic Era. Despite the fact that dinosaurs haven’t lived on Earth for millions of years, they still greatly impact modern society. The main way that dinosaurs impact us now is through fossil fuels, which most of the world functions off of. Paleontologists study dinosaurs and how they lived by discovering and analyzing fossil evidence; using this information, scientists have been able to understand how modern creatures evolved from our prehistoric ancestors. Here is a brief description of my favorite types of dinosaurs:


Brachiosaurus: Brachiosauruses are exactly what you imagine when you think of a long-neck dinosaur. They are a type of Sauropod that is approximately 30 meters long and 99,000 pounds. These were one of the biggest types of dinosaurs, but they were peaceful herbivores. Brachiosauruses lived in the Late Jurassic period (155-140 million years ago) mostly in Africa. Its name, most directly, translates to “arm lizard”.  (Natural History Museum) 


Triceratops: The triceratops were known to be gentle herbivores that spent time grazing in herds. Triceratops are one of the most well known species of dinosaur today because of the distinctive three horns on their face. These Ceratopsian dinosaurs were about 9 meters long and 12,000 pounds. Triceratops lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous period (68-66 million years ago). Triceratops also had a large skull and hard beak to fight off predators. The name, Triceratops, simply translates to “three-horned face”. (Natural History Museum) 


Stegosaurus: The Stegosaurus is similar to the Triceratops in many ways, but also very distinctive. The Stegosaurus was also about 9 meters long and 11,000 pounds. The Stegosaurus did not live in herds but they were herbivores that avoided as much conflict as they could. Living in North America during the Late Jurassic period (152-145 million years ago), Stegosaurus were very distinctive from other dinosaurs because of their small head, thick armor, spiky spine, and deadly tail. To fight off predators, Stegosaurus swung their tail, laden with spikes, to beat and stab their attackers. 


Pterodactylus: For anyone who hasn’t watched Dinosaur Train, Pterodactyls are bird-like, flying dinosaurs. Pterodactyls lived in the Late Jurassic period (152-145 million years ago) in Africa and Europe. These dinosaurs were omnivores, but they ate mostly fish. Pterodactyls are a type of Pterosaur, or flying reptile. They are unique for their strangely shaped head with a long beak and large triangular cone extending from the top of the head. The size range for pterodactyls was expansive; their wingspan could range anywhere from 10 inches to 35 feet. 


Liopleurodon: Liopleyrodons were marine reptiles that lived during the Middle Jurassic period. Liopleurodons are thought to look a lot like the fictional Loch Ness Monster, but with a short neck and many sharp, protruding teeth. Liopleurodons were only about 20 feet long, but had large fins. They mostly lived in the Baltic Sea of Northern Europe; they were carnivorous and fed on fish and aquatic dinosaurs. 


In conclusion, Dinosaurs may not be alive today, but the evidence of their existence will constantly be under further investigation so that we can fully understand their existence and how it ultimately led to the existence of all the other life forms on Earth. 


Sources:


  • Delaney Fehr, 10th Grade, Rogers


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