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Dinosaurs, creatures, large, Greek, Latin,

Can you imagine what the Dinosaurs looked like when they ruled this earth millions of years ago? Let me answer this for you. Dinosaurs, once the largest creatures on land were as tall as a four-storey building and weighed more than the combined weight of thousand cars.

These ‘fearfully great’ creatures derived their name from the Greek or Latin language. In simple words, Dinosaur means 'terrible lizard'.
Usually they are named according to their special body features, after the place where they were found, or after the person involved in their discovery. The name, generally, consists of two Greek or Latin words or a combination of both.

Kinds of Dinosaurs: All dinosaurs were not similar to each other. Their eating habits were different, they were of various sizes, their style of walking was different and so were their features.

·Sauropods were the plant-eating dinosaurs. They had massive bodies, long tails and long necks to feed on high branches, just like Giraffes.
·The meat eaters were called as the Theropods. They had sharp eyes, fearsome claws and large teeth.
·The Dinosaurs with big spine like plates on its back were called as the Stegosaurus. Their big spines may have acted as panels to absorb the Sun's heat quickly.
·Brachiosaurus were those Dinosaurs, which were as huge as two double-decker buses piled on top of each other. This giant dinosaur lived in herds. It also had long neck to pluck leaves off the trees.
·Some dinosaurs walked on two legs and were called as Bipedal, while some walked on four and were called as Quadrupedal. However, some could do both.

Evolution of Dinosaurs: Dinosaurs evolved from other reptiles, over 230 million years ago. Dinosaurs got evolved through a series of changes from more primitive reptiles. Nobody can really say why any animal evolves. It's only a matter of chance and survival of the strongest. If you start life all over again, or get rid of an animal, it can never come back.

The first Dinosaurs were small and lightly built (around 10-15 feet long). They were Bipedal and were very fast. The world's oldest-known dinosaurs have been found on Madagascar, an island off the coast of SE Africa.

Among the other earliest-known dinosaur was Eoraptor, a dog-sized meat-eater, 228 million years old.
Facts about Dinosaurs:
1.Not all prehistoric giant animals were dinosaurs. A lot of other animals also existed during the period.
2.All dinosaurs lived on the land. None of them lived in the sea or flew. Some advanced meat-eating dinosaurs did develop feathers, and evolved into birds.
3.All dinosaurs were not huge. Many of them were small and medium-sized dinosaurs. The smallest dinosaur, which was the size of a chicken, was called as Compsognathus.
4.Birds were the only surviving descendantsof the Dinosaurs. Men did not co-exist with Dinosaurs.
5.The number of teeth that dinosaurs had varied widely. Some had no teeth at all while a few others had 50 to 60 thick, conical teeth. The dinosaurs with the maximum number of teeth were called as the Hadrosaurs and they had up to 960 cheek teeth. Dinosaurs had replaceable teeth; when a tooth was lost or broken, another one grew in to take its place.
6.The bigger dinosaurs lived a life of around 100 years while the smaller ones had shorter life spans.

Extinction of Dinosaurs: Extinction is the process in which groups of organisms die out. This occurs when the birth rate is less than the death rate over time. It is a natural result of evolution. Organisms go extinct when they are unable to adapt to changes in the environment.
The dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, probably because of the environmental changes brought about by an asteroid hitting the Earth. It is the most popular theory explaining the death of dinosaurs.

It is believed that the Earth was hit by an asteroid at a speed of 1,00,000 kilometers per hour. This caused violent earthquakes and threw clouds of dust all around, causing the death of dinosaurs.
Another popular theory says that the weather of land became cooler, and the dinosaurs had no feathers or fur to protect them against the changing weather. They were not able to withstand the changing weather and died.

Dinosaurs probably live today as birds as it is believed that birds have many of their characteristic features. The only remains of Dinosaurs are Fossils and they have been found all over the world, may be even somewhere close to you.
Published: 2007-05-21
Author: akanksha arora

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