Thanks to decades of movies, comic books and less-than-accurate TV documentaries, many people continue to hold mistaken notions about Dinosaurs. Here are some things you thought you knew about dinosaurs that aren’t actually true.
All dinosaurs were covered in green scales
Feathers, bright skin colours and decorative head crests are now accepted covers for these prehistoric animals. It is now widely believed that most coelurosaur theropods were covered with feathers at some stage of their life cycles, most probably when juveniles. Other theropods have also been found with protofeathers and feathers, so this covering may have been widespread amongst the meat-eaters.
All dinosaurs were big
Dinosaurs were a diverse group of reptiles ranging in size from a chicken to many buses in length. They majority were actually fairly small, however some reached the largest proportions ever known for land animals.
Compsognathus longipes (Europe): 60 cm long and 4-6 kg
Microraptor zhaoianus (China): 40 cm long and 2-4 kg
The largest? Titanosaur sauropods
Argentinosaurus huinculensis (Argentina): 35-40 m long and 80 tonnes
Puertasaurus reuili (Argentina): 35-40 m long and 80 tonnes
Paralititan stromeri (Egypt): 32 m long and 65-80 tonnes
The tallest? Sauropods
Brachiosaurus altithorax (USA): 12 m tall
Sauroposeidon proteles (USA): 12 m or taller
The largest meat-eater?
Mapusaurus rosaea (Argentina): 14 m long and 7–8 tonnes
Giganotosaurus carolinii (Argentina): 13–14 m long and 7 tonnes
Spinosaurus aegyptiacus (Egypt): 15 m long and 5–7 tonnes
Tyrannosaurus rex (North America): 12–13 m long and 7 tonnes
All dinosaurs lived in lush rainforest, swampy habitats.
Dinosaur fossils have been found in all parts of the world, including the Arctic and Antarctic circles. Although these regions were not covered in ice like today, temperatures were cool, particularly in winter, and there were long periods of darkness. Conditions were far below the level most living reptiles can tolerate.So, like animals today, we know different species were adapted to live in a diverse range of environments – from arid regions, and rainforests, to wide open plains and cold dark regions.
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