Dinosaurs were ancient reptiles that existed during the Mesozoic Era, living both on land and air, including several varieties that walked or flew with wings, some having feathers for flight. Today, birds are considered dinosaurs.
Students can gain more information about dinosaurs through research and answering questions. Furthermore, they can share their discoveries with their classmates.
Stegosaurus was the smallest dinosaur
Stegosaurus was an herbivorous dinosaur from the late Jurassic Period that lived during its prime. Known for its rows of large plates running down its back and long spikes on its tail that could serve to defend against other predators, Stegosaurus used these plates as solar heat sinks while using its back to absorb heat from sunlight.
Scientists have recently discovered that the plates on a Stegosaurus’ back weren’t solid, but rather made of lattice-like structures with blood vessels inside. These plates likely weren’t intended as armor; rather they may have served more as display or defense mechanisms that attracted mates or deterred potential predators.
Although massive in size, the Stegosaurus wasn’t very intelligent. It had a brain proportionally to its body size that was roughly equivalent to that of a golden retriever; nevertheless, this did not slow it down too much: climbing was one of its specialties while its short necks and small heads probably allowed it to feed on low-growing plants and shrubs.
Stegosaurus dinosaurs in Mesozoic Era often swallowed rocks as part of their digestive process, as some vegetation was difficult to break down in their stomachs. The rocks that it swallowed were called gastroliths and helped break it down more efficiently.
Although stegosaurus was an herbivore, to maintain both weight and health it consumed many plants each day – typically hundreds of pounds of ferns and cycads each day! As this required chewing action before swallowing was crucial for this giant dinosaur. Cheek muscles allowed it to chew its food properly prior to swallowing.
The Stegosaurus had jaws strong enough to crush plant leaves, yet weak, peglike teeth. Due to its short neck, however, which prevented reaching high-up plants like ferns or clover mosses; therefore this dinosaur likely feasted upon more suitable food such as ferns.
Archaeopteryx was the first flying dinosaur
Archaeopteryx was discovered as one of Charles Darwin’s “missing links” shortly after its fossils were unearthed in 1861; paleontologists quickly recognized it as such. Although technically considered a reptile, its features included feathers and long bony tail shared by birds; additionally it had toothed jaws with clawed wings for predatory ability despite not flying particularly well itself.
X-rays of this creature’s bones revealed its front limbs were in the form of wings and had feathers similar to modern bird wings, leading scientists to hypothesize it could flap its wings using downdraft created by these motions and glide along them – though without having a bony keeled sternum upon which its flight muscles attach, powered flight may not have been possible.
Archaeopteryx fossils are extremely rare. Only a handful of specimens have ever been discovered, making it hard to know exactly how the animal looked. But recently completed at University of Manchester skull scan of an Archaeopteryx fossil provided insight into both its brain and body; researchers discovered that its brain was designed for flight.
Archaeopteryx was found to possess feathers similar to modern birds’, suggesting that its evolutionary development began much sooner than previously believed. Modern bird ancestors began producing flight feathers around 160 million years ago – possibly giving Archaeopteryx the ability to glide.
This creature possessed not only feathered wings, but also clawed fingers with claws for hunting prey or fleeing from predators, and had a long bony tail – suggesting it may have been an aerial predator that flew short distances to hunt or escape predation.
Researchers have also examined the remains of Archaeopteryx and other dinosaurs to learn more about how they developed feathers. Researchers discovered that one particular bone called the humerus played a pivotal role in creating these feathers; it had similar shape but smaller dimensions with fewer ribs for easy flying distance. As a result, lighter bodies allowed these animals to glide and fly longer distances.
Triceratops was the largest dinosaur
Triceratops was one of the largest dinosaurs ever to roam our Earth, reaching its maximum size during the Cretaceous Period and reaching its zenith before an asteroid struck and ended non-bird dinosaur life on Earth. Triceratops was part of an order known as sauropods which included Diplodocus and Brontosaurus; its name derives from its three-horned face appearance which featured projections similar to that seen on rhinoceroses horns with frills like those seen on rhinoceroses’s heads with frills resembling rhinoceros horns on top reminiscent of rhinoceros horns on top and frill that resembled rhinoceros horns on top.
Triceratops was an enormous nine-metre dinosaur with an enormous three metre skull that weighed six to eight tons, boasting two to three metres long horns on both its eyes and its snout. Unfortunately, these weren’t enough to stop Tyrannosaurus rex from preying upon Triceratops; bite marks have been discovered on their fossil remains, and one specimen even had their skull completely removed!
One reason Triceratops was so large was due to the battery of shearing teeth embedded in its jaws, which allowed it to cut down hundreds of pounds of tough plant matter like cycads and ginkgoes daily. Worn-down teeth would be replaced as soon as possible so that every Triceratops always had full sets of teeth available at any given moment.
Reasons Triceratops was such a large dinosaur include its numerous massive features: long neck and head; shorter body than that of an Argentinousaurus; this enabled Triceratops to reach into its habitat and harvest all vegetation around it.
Triceratops was another powerful animal, featuring powerful hindquarters which allowed it to stand upright with ease. It had long, narrow snout that enabled it to locate prey from distances; as an active creature it frequently roamed across its territory looking for sustenance.
Tyrannosaurus rex was the fastest dinosaur
When thinking of dinosaurs, most people envision fierce Tyrannosaurus rex or swift Velociraptor species. But which dinosaur was the fastest? Were human outrunners ever possible against these ancient beasts? While each dinosaur type had different speed capabilities and characteristics – some walked on four legs while others used two; some even had long necks or could fly! – one thing remains consistent among most species: speed.
Scientists have managed to accurately gauge the speeds of numerous dinosaurs by studying their fossils and bones. With advanced biomechanical models, scientists have shown that some dinosaurs were capable of running very quickly; taking into account weight and body size. Results of this research demonstrate that dinosaurs could reach speeds faster than a human. Gallimimus was among them; an Upper Cretaceous period carnivorous theropod capable of running up to 40 mph–faster than modern-day ostriches! Gallimimus achieved such speed thanks to having light bones with flexible cartilages which allowed it to move quickly over long distances.
Sinocalliopteryx was another carnivorous dinosaur capable of running quickly: this Early Cretaceous period dinosaur lived around 100 million years ago and may have been covered in feathers; eating small mammals, lizards and other dinosaurs it consumed small mammals, lizards and other dinosaurs before sprinting back home again to feed on more prey. Thanks to its slim build with wide chest and large eyes it could run extremely fast; an impressive feat.
Ornithomimid dinosaurs were thought to be among the fastest non-avian dinosaurs, such as Gallimimus bullatus and Struthiomimus altus, running at speeds estimated between 60 to 70 kilometers per hour and being capable of jumping high to escape predators; furthermore they could fly at comparable speeds comparable to peregrine falcons which can dive up to 380 km/h!