From slow, plant-eating giants to fierce scavengers and hunters, dinosaurs dominated the land for over 160 million years. Here are a few of them!
Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs that ever lived. Everything about this ferocious predator, from its thick, heavy skull to its 4-foot-long was designed for maximum bone-crushing action. Fossil evidence shows that Tyrannosaurus was about 40 feet long and about 15 to 20 feet tall. Its strong thighs and long, powerful tail helped it move quickly, and its massive 5-foot-long skull could bore into prey.
Stegosaurus was a large, plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic Period, about 150.8 million to 155.7 million years ago, primarily in western North America. It was about the size of a bus and carried around two rows of bony plates on its back that made it a dangerous enemy. This slow-moving plant-eater used spikes on its tail to fend off would-be predators.
Triceratops is the largest of the horned dinosaurs. As babies, Triceratops hatch out of eggs about the size of a cantaloupe and have to grow into their horns. The Triceratops is a quadrupedal herbivore that lived during the late Cretaceous period—or about 68 million years ago. It is believed that Triceratops ate mostly low growth vegetation such as ferns and shrubbery. Scientists believe that their large volume of teeth suggested that they ate large volumes of fibrous plant material each day and that these large batteries of teeth were needed to replace the ones that were damaged by wear and tear.
Diplodocus is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs, with its typical sauropod shape, long neck and tail, and four sturdy legs. For many years, it was the longest dinosaur known. This genus of dinosaurs lived in what is now mid-western North America at the end of the Jurassic period. Diplodocus is one of the more common dinosaur fossils found in the middle to upper Morrison Formation, between about 154 and 152 million years ago, during the late Kimmeridgian age.
Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the extinct clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous. Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight.