Dinosaurs

A:

There is evidence that dinosaurs did not have a single, uniform and universal diet but rather a wide variety of dietary habits, with evidence supporting the idea that carnivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous species all existed. Different feeding styles were also likely, with some carnivorous species hunting prey such as mammals and small reptiles, while other carnivores may have been opportunistic carrion scavengers. There was likely even a good range of dietary variety amongst the herbivorous dinosaurs, which may have made up the majority of all dinosaur species.

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  • What was the longest dinosaur?

    Q: What was the longest dinosaur?

    A: Though there have been a few instances of scientists purporting to have found larger specimens, the longest known dinosaur that is widely accepted by paleontologists seems to be the Diplodocus, a type of sauropod dinosaur with a long neck and long tail that is said to have measured as much as 175 feet in length. There seems to be some controversy and debate around the question of which dinosaur is truly the longest, with scientists introducing competitors such as the Seismosaurus, which was once thought to be a distinct species but was eventually found to be a very large Diplodocus specimen. The Seismosaurus' discovery was announced in 1991, but its existence as a unique species was debunked just over a decade later, a fact that was announced at an academic event in 2004.
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  • What is the difference between a cast fossil and a mold fossil?

    Q: What is the difference between a cast fossil and a mold fossil?

    A: The difference between a mold fossil and a cast fossil is that mold fossil is formed when an object is placed into soft mud and is removed by decomposition or physical sources; a cast fossil happens when a mold fossil fills up with sediment. A cast fossil is three dimensional, and a mold must be present for the cast fossil to exist.
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  • What's the largest carnivore to ever live?

    Q: What's the largest carnivore to ever live?

    A: Based on fossil record, the dinosaur known as Spinosaurus and the prehistoric clade of marine mammals known as pliosaurs are the most apt top contenders for the title of "largest carnivore known to man." The Spinosaurus is the largest known carnivorous dinosaur, with fossil records indicating that this dinosaur could reach lengths of 50 feet and weigh more than 20 tons, but evidence of potential pliosaur size is inconclusive due to incomplete fossilized specimens. A partially fictionalized 1999 documentary from the BBC posited that there may have been pliosaurs that weighed more than 150 tons and were more than 82 feet long, but there is no fossil evidence to support this idea.
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  • What did Triceratops eat?

    Q: What did Triceratops eat?

    A: Triceratops were herbivorous and probably ate low-growing plants because of their short necks and low heads. They may have eaten bushes, small trees and grasses. They may have been able to eat taller plants by knocking them down with their horns and beaks.
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  • When did the velociraptor become extinct?

    Q: When did the velociraptor become extinct?

    A: The velociraptor became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period due to an asteroid strike at the Yucatan Peninsula that occurred roughly 65 million years ago. This extinction event, known as the K-T boundary, also killed all other known species of non-avian dinosaurs.
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  • What did Tyrannosaurus rex eat?

    Q: What did Tyrannosaurus rex eat?

    A: Tyrannosaurus rex primarily ate herbivore dinosaurs, including the Edmontosaurus and the Triceratops. Studies suggest that the Tyrannosaurus rex also practiced cannibalism. Paleontologists believe that if two Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs fought to the death, the winner would eat the loser, based on bite marks found on Tyrannosaurus bones.
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  • What does the word "dinosaur" mean?

    Q: What does the word "dinosaur" mean?

    A: The word "dinosaur" is derived from Greek words; it loosely translates as "terrible lizard" from the root words "deinos," meaning "terrible" or "fearfully great," and "sauros," meaning "lizard" or "reptile." Sir Richard Owen, the man who created this taxon, intended the word "terrible" to imply something awe-inspiring and magnificent rather than something scary and terrifying.
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  • What do you do if you find a dinosaur bone?

    Q: What do you do if you find a dinosaur bone?

    A: Individuals who believe that they have found a fossilized dinosaur bone in an outdoor area should avoid touching it and instead take a photo and make note of its exact location using a map before making contact with a natural history museum such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. However, this procedure is not legally binding, particularly if the fossil is discovered on private land, though moral obligation may tell a different story. In the United States, individuals who find a fossil on their land are not required to report or hand it over to any authority.
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  • Could you outrun a Tyrannosaurus Rex?

    Q: Could you outrun a Tyrannosaurus Rex?

    A: A T-Rex could have run faster than an average human at top speed, but there is a chance that a human could outrun a T-Rex. We can never fully know how fast the Tyrannosaurus Rex ran, but scientists at the University of Manchester in England have come up with animated computer models based on fossils and estimated muscle mass that have helped them compute the probable top speeds of many dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is nowhere near the fastest, topping out at around 18 mph. The fastest dinosaur they computed was the Compsognathus, which ran about 40 mph.
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  • What were the smallest dinosaurs?

    Q: What were the smallest dinosaurs?

    A: The smallest known dinosaur species include the Minmi, Pakicetus, Europasaurus, Phosphatherium, Microraptor, Raptorex, Microceratops, Lariosaurus and Nemicolopterus. These are all examples of the smallest dinos in a particular group, such as the smallest Raptor (Microraptor), which weighed around 2 pounds and was small enough to eat insects, and the smallest Tyrannosaur (Raptorex), which likely topped out at about 150 pounds.
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  • What is a baby dinosaur called?

    Q: What is a baby dinosaur called?

    A: Dinosaurs are hatched from eggs, therefore new baby dinosaurs are called hatchlings, just like their reptile cousins the turtles and crocodiles. Young dinosaurs, beyond the hatchling stage, are referred to as juveniles.
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  • How many types of dinosaurs were there?

    Q: How many types of dinosaurs were there?

    A: Dinosaur discoveries occur at a rapid pace, and it may be difficult to keep up with the exact number of dinosaurs there are at any given time, particularly because specimens used to determine this number may be incomplete or disputed; however, it can be said that there are about 800 confirmed and distinct species of dinosaur. New dinosaur discoveries are announced all the time at relatively high rates of as many as 30 per year, or about one every 10 days. Paleontologists have been known to get a bit overzealous with naming a specimen as a new and distinct species, and there have been hundreds of examples of dinosaurs that were once thought to be unique that have been proven otherwise.
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  • What is the wingspan of a pterodactyl?

    Q: What is the wingspan of a pterodactyl?

    A: The wingspan of the largest species of pteranodon (the term employed by working paleontologists as opposed to the culturally popular term "pterodactyl") was up to 30 feet. This wingspan is much larger than that of any modern flying bird.
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  • What is a list of omnivorous dinosaurs?

    Q: What is a list of omnivorous dinosaurs?

    A: Omnivorous dinosaurs include Anserimimus, Deinocheirus, Gallimimus and Othnielia. Fruitadens haagarorum was a small dinosaur known to be omnivorous by the presence of both sharp teeth resembling canines and leaf-shaped teeth suitable for grinding plants. As a heterdontosaurid, it exhibited a shift in diet from its earlier herbivorous relatives.
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  • What was the largest carniverous dinosaur?

    Q: What was the largest carniverous dinosaur?

    A: The largest known carnivorous dinosaur is the Spinosaurus, which is so named thanks to the gigantic spikes that run down the dinosaur's back. These spikes form a "sail" that likely evolved to ward off enemies rather than predators. The Spinosaurus was likely too large to be preyed upon by other dinosaurs.
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  • What did dinosaurs eat?

    Q: What did dinosaurs eat?

    A: There is evidence that dinosaurs did not have a single, uniform and universal diet but rather a wide variety of dietary habits, with evidence supporting the idea that carnivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous species all existed. Different feeding styles were also likely, with some carnivorous species hunting prey such as mammals and small reptiles, while other carnivores may have been opportunistic carrion scavengers. There was likely even a good range of dietary variety amongst the herbivorous dinosaurs, which may have made up the majority of all dinosaur species.
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  • What was the lifespan of a stegosaurus?

    Q: What was the lifespan of a stegosaurus?

    A: Scientists approximate dinosaur lifespan by attempting to determine the metabolism of the animal, looking at its size and bone growth, and comparing with similar animals that are still around today. Based on these factors, a stegosaurus may have lived 75 to 100 years.
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  • Did the stegosaurus have two brains?

    Q: Did the stegosaurus have two brains?

    A: Even though there was a popular theory that Stegosaurus may have had two brains, one in its head and one toward its tail or rear end, that idea has largely been discredited in paleontology. Some paleontologists may still hold on to this theory and try to find ways that it might be true, but on the whole, this is not an accepted idea.
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  • How did the euoplocephalus protect itself?

    Q: How did the euoplocephalus protect itself?

    A: The Euoplocephalus was a dinosaur that had several built-in defensive weapons at its disposal, including a heavy clubbed tail, spiky bone protrusions on the head and a back made of plate armor with protruding bone spikes that helped protect the dinosaur from bites and other forms of attack. Using its tail, the Euoplocephalus could not only fend off attackers but also do serious damage to their muscles, teeth and even bones. This herbivorous quadrupedal dinosaur is often called the "tank dinosaur" thanks to its extensive body armor, including its back plates and even armored eyelids, and its sturdy, stout anatomy.
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  • Were dinosaurs warm-blooded or cold-blooded?

    Q: Were dinosaurs warm-blooded or cold-blooded?

    A: Because dinosaurs are classified as reptiles, one might assume that they are cold blooded, but some scientists suggest that dinosaurs may have been somewhere between cold and warm blooded. Though most animals fall into either category, there have been some intermediary species known to science, with dinosaurs potentially being one of this number.
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  • What are the two classes of dinosaurs?

    Q: What are the two classes of dinosaurs?

    A: Beginning in 1887, dinosaurs have been divided into two main categories: saurischian, which means "lizard hipped," and ornithischian, which means "bird hipped." This classification is based on the dinosaurs' pelvic bone structure. Though the name "bird hipped" may seem to indicate that these prehistoric animals are related to birds, that is not necessarily the case.
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