What is a Dinosaur? Everything You Need to Know

What is a Dinosaur Everything You Need to Know

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs live among us in comic books, animations, and animatronic forms. However, no one’s ever seen one in real-time; not even the oldest humans traversed the planet. So, it’s easy to wonder, “What is a dinosaur?” Or perhaps question if they were real.

The basic description of dinosaurs is that they were gigantic and mainly aggressive, with massive tonnages and a presence hardly not to notice. But what actually are dinosaurs?

This article takes you back on a journey through time to learn about what dinosaurs are.

Quick Dinosaur Facts to Know

brown T. rex statue in the middle of a forest

Source by: Unsplash

  1. Over 700 dinosaur species existed on earth

  1. The Argentinosaurus was a giant dinosaur that ever lived

  2. Dinosaurs lived on every continent, including Antarctica

  3. Dinosaurs became instinct due to an asteroid that led to widespread climate change

  4. Turtles, lizards, and snakes share similar dinosaur ancestors!

What Makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur?

the head of a feathered dinosaur in the forest

Source by: Unsplash

Dinosaurs are an extinct reptile group that lived about 200 years ago in some parts of the world. Most of these animals were gigantic, with the most ferocious believed to be the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Quite frankly, these terrible lizards could scare anyone in their way. They had muscular tails with the propensity to shatter bones and jaws having unmatched PSI. However, these animals are now extinct, and no single one of them lives on earth.

A giant T-Rex fossil in a museum

Source by: W Magazine

As movies portray, dinosaurs are best known for their aggressive and thunderous whines. While that may be true, their physical characteristics make them different from other animals. Typically, you may come across some synthetic, life-like animatronic dinosaurs similar to the sizes people believe they were.

However, scientists believe that these animals were prodigious and scary. Moreover, literature portrays these animals as 40-meter beasts and incredibly aggressive species ever on earth. People also imagine them being violent and ferocious, although that may not be true since milder dinosaurs still existed. Their massive sizes and ancient origins give dinosaurs their name.

How Did Dinosaurs Come to Life?

Carnotaurus was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur with horns on its head that lived in Cretaceous era South America. Here, one is depicted in a forest. 3D Rendering

Source by: Google

The terrible lizard stemmed from a tiny dinosauromorph common ancestor in the Triassic period. However, their survival wasn’t quite a breeze since they faced harsh climates and competition from the archosaurs.

Nevertheless, the split of the Pangea gave them a shove for survival, and they evolved for millions of years to become the giant we all have an idea of. Since then, they proliferated, and their populations bulged to become the most dominant species on earth. Until the cretaceous-tertiary extinction, dinosaurs prevailed on the planet more extensively.

What Was the Last Dinosaur on Earth?

large brown frilled dinosaur model with a horn on its face beside a small horned and frilled dinosaur on the grass

Source by: Google

Scientists believe the last dinosaur to have existed on earth was the Triceratops. As per the fossil remains that archeologists discovered in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation, all pointers indicate that this animal existed about 65 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous.

It was the last one standing amongst the massive dinosaur populace after the asteroid damnation. It has three horns and was the hardiest among the other dinosaurs on the planet. However, it couldn’t bear the rapidly changing climate and became extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event.

What Dinosaur Exists Now?

A giant T-Rex costume is standing on the ground

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

A crude idea of more “alive” dinosaurs on earth is dinosaur puppets and dinosaur costumes. However, it’ll surprise you that these reptiles still exist, at least in their simplest forms. Scientists believe these animals currently exist as the reptiles we know, including snakes and turtles.

Quite concretely, these reptiles share a few similar physical characteristics, including their scaly skins, reproduction modes, and locomotive prowess. However, whether or not birds also share similar characteristics with dinosaurs or are their direct descendants, it’s yet to come to book.

What Did Dinosaurs Eat?


Source by: Google

According to sources, dinosaurs were mainly herbivorous, but some were partly omnivorous or purely scavengers and carnivorous. The T-Rex is believed to have been a ferocious carnivore able to tear prey’s flesh using bite and pull movements. However, most dinosaurs lived on herbs, mainly tree foliage.

During that time, the grass hadn’t evolved to what it appears today, and trees provided food for these creatures, including their fruits. Also, a few dinosaurs were predators and preyed on weaker, injured, younger dinosaurs. Others scavenged on eggs and other foods available at their disposal.

What Dinosaur Lived in the Ocean?

underwater photo of clear water and a rock bed

Source by: Google

Scientists believe that the Mosasaurs lived in the ocean and traversed the blue as the apex predator. It savored virtually every sea creature it encountered and was massive enough to cause trouble. This animal couldn’t breathe underwater, and possible reincarnations include the whales and a few other miniature ocean animals.

Like most sea mammals and reptiles, the Mosasaurs had to drift to the surface to draw in oxygen occasionally and could hold it for quite some time underwater. It also was an enviable swimmer with powerful fins and tails to build speed when predating and leisurely swim around quickly.  You can read the blog Top 8 Swimming & Water Dinosaurs if you are interested in this part.

Frequently Asked Questions

a T. rex statue with a palm tree covering its left eye

Source by: Google

Are Dragon Dinosaurs?

It’s not entirely verifiable that fire-spitting dragons existed since the idea of their possible existence comes from popular mythology. However, other related species of reptiles like the komodo dragons with similar streaks as dinosaurs existed, which marginally authenticates the belief that dragons were possibly dinosaurs.

How Many Years Do Dinosaurs Live?

Dinosaurs had varied lifespans depending on varieties, with the longest believed to have been about 300 years. However, some only lived for 70 to 80 years, including Diplodocus and Apatosaurus dinosaurs. Scientists commend their slow body metabolisms for such long lifespans, which saw them living hundreds of years.

graphic art of a large long-necked gray animal chasing an orange squid-like creature underwater

Source by: Google

What Existed Before Dinosaurs?

Life existed before dinosaurs, and scientists believe that some ancient reptiles visually between armadillos and woodlice – called Trilobites – traversed the earth. These creatures were only miniature and never as gigantic as literature portrays dinosaurs.

Were Dinosaurs Birds or Lizards?

Dinosaurs were prehistoric reptiles since they belonged to the reptile group archosaurs. However, some groups like the archaeopteryx dinosaurs had bird-like features, including bipedal postures and wings, and existed in the late Jurassic era.

What is a Dinosaur: Conclusion

Three parasaurolophus stand on a rock beach. Pterasaurs fly ove

Source by: Google

Dinosaurs are incredibly fascinating prehistoric reptiles known today for what they were in ancient times. Regardless, while they no longer live in the contemporary world, they’ve become a staple in most legends and stories that try to keep them “virtually alive” and relish their fascinating history. If perhaps you’re wondering, “what are dinosaurs?” we hope this article brings you up to speed. And if you want to know more about their lifespan you can read the blog Dinosaur Lifespan: How long did a dinosaur live

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