What is a dinosaur?
Dinosaurs are big, strong creatures (imagine big lizards) who on earth for more than 180 million years, and a long time ago before we did. They are really interesting animals, and we are going to tell you our top 20 fun dinosaur facts so you know what to expect when visiting the Lost Kingdom at Paultons Park.
Some of the coolest dinosaurs can be found in our Lost Kingdom, including:
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
Have a look at these facts on these prehistoric creatures and show off to your family and friends whilst walking with the dinosaurs at the Lost Kingdom at Paultons Park.
Facts about prehistoric animals:
- 1. It’s believed that birds we see today have evolved from the most interesting dinosaurs as just like chickens, dinosaurs came from eggs, just bigger ones!
- 2. Some dinosaurs built large nests to keep their babies together. Young dinosaurs grew very fast. Many reached full size in seven or eight years. Speaking of nests, the biggest dinosaur eggs ever found were about 19 inches long, and the smallest were 0.7 inches (smaller than a penny).
- 3. The dinosaur with the longest name was the Micropachycephalosaurus, which means tiny, thick headed lizard!
- 4. Most dinosaurs had very small brains and were about as clever as modern reptiles. In fact, their brains were usually the size of a lime.
- 5. Although they’re known for being massive monsters, many dinosaurs were actually smaller than a turkey and most scientists believe that the average dinosaur was the size of a small car.
- 6. It has recently been discovered that some dinosaurs even had feathers, specifically a group of dinosaurs known as theropods (“beast footed”). So, you never know. That pigeon you see on the pavement could have evolved from a dinosaur!
- 7. Dinosaurs were the biggest animals ever to have walked on earth. In fact, the biggest dinosaur bone ever found was a backbone, that weighed more than a tank (one ton).
- 8. The heaviest and longest dinosaur ever discovered was the Argentinosaurus, which reached heights of up to 37 metres!
- 9. The first dinosaur to be named was the Megalosaurus in 1824 by Reverend William Buckland.
- 10. A person who studies dinosaurs is called a palaeontologist.
- 11. The word dinosaur comes from the Greek language and means ‘terrible lizard’. The Greek words dienos (“terrible”) and sauros (“reptile”). They were called this because of their huge size, not because they were particularly terrible!
- 12. The very biggest dinosaurs ate only plants. Those that ate meat were usually much smaller.
- 13. One reason that plant-eating dinosaurs grew so big was because they were so greedy. They could eat a huge amount of food very quickly. Sometimes, they swallowed up whole branches without chewing!
- 14. Scientists think that some large dinosaurs like the Apatosaurus lived as long as 300 years.
- 15. Dinosaur skulls usually had big holes that both made them lighter and helped to keep them cool.
- 16. Dinosaurs lived across the world. Evidence of dinosaurs have been found on all seven of the world’s continents through the discovery of dinosaur bones and fossils
- 17. For their own protection, most plant-eating dinosaurs grew natural weapons like spikes and horns. These weapons also helped dinosaurs to nudge fruits off trees.
- 18. Dinosaurs lived on Earth for a far longer time than humans have, with their family trees stretching back many millions of years.
- 19. The largest meat-eating dinosaur that’s been discovered was the Spinosaurus, which was around 50 foot long and spent most of its time in water. However, most carnivorous (only-meat-eating) dinosaurs were bipeds, meaning they walked on two feet. Walking on two feet helped them move faster and left their hands free to catch their prey.
- 20. Because dinosaurs were so different to anything alive today, no one is quite sure how long they lived for or how dinosaurs became extinct, but most think that it was because of a massive asteroid (huge rock from space) crashing into the earth, or a gigantic volcanic eruption, or both. It’s still a mystery today.