Dinosaur egg fossils
Dinosaur egg fossils
Different dinosaurs
Different dinosaurs
Different dinosaurs
Different dinosaurs
 What Is...dinosaur?
Topic(s):   Dinosaurs, What is ...

Dinosaurs are not all extinct. Birds are dinosaurs. They are theropods, like Deinonychus. When people say dinosaurs, though, they do not mean birds. Dinosaurs lived from 65 to 230 million years ago. Scientists have found more than 1,000 kinds of dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs were all reptiles. But not all extinct reptiles were dinosaurs. Dinosaurs lived on land. Fish-like reptiles were not dinosaurs. Neither were the flying reptiles. Dinosaurs had legs that were below their bodies. Reptiles usually have legs that go out to the sides. Dinosaurs had four legs. Some walked on two legs. Some walked on four. Some could walk on two or four legs. Dinosaurs had other things in common. Their bones and muscles were alike in certain ways. Birds share these features.

Richard Owen thought of the name dinosaur in 1842. It means terrible lizard. Ideas about dinosaurs have changed through the years. In China, people thought they were dragons. In Europe, people thought they were giant humans. For a while, scientists thought Tyrannosaurus Rex stood up like a kangaroo. They used to think the huge dinosaurs stood in water all the time to hold up their weight. People thought all dinosaurs were big and slow. They thought all dinosaurs were cold-blooded.

These ideas have changed. But people still use the term dinosaur to mean something big, slow, and out-of-date.

Resource information

San Diego Natural History Museum. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.sdnhm.org/kids/dinosaur/dino.html

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. What Is a Dinosaur? Retrieved from http://paleobiology.si.edu/dinosaurs/info/everything/what.html

Citation information

APA Style:        What is a Dinosaur?. (2014, March). Retrieved from Facts4Me at https://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style:       "What is a Dinosaur?." Facts4Me. Mar. 2014. https://www.facts4me.com.

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