Dinosaur Fun Facts
Which dinosaur has the longest name? Which dinosaur is the heaviest? Biggest? Smallest? How long were dinosaurs alive for? How many species have been discovered? So many questions, yet, a definitive list of dinosaur facts is impossible. As dinosaur fossils continue to be unearthed, we continue to learn more about these amazing ancient creatures that once walked the Earth. So, for now…
1. How long?
Dinosaurs lived on Earth for about 165 million years.
2. Where in the world?
Fossils of dinosaurs have been found on all seven continents-even Antarctica! But the countries with the most dinosaur fossils are the US, Canada, China and Argentina.
3. It’s all Greek to me
Sir Richard Owen invented the term “Dinosauria”. The term comes from the Greek words “deinos” translated to “fearfully great” and “sauros” translated to “lizard”.
4. Our feathered friends?
Did you know that modern birds are descendants from dinosaurs? That means there are still relatives of dinosaurs roaming the planet. Recently, evidence for feathered non-avian dinosaurs has been discovered showing that feathers are no longer unique just to birds.
5. It’s all in the name
The longest dinosaur name originates from Chinese paleontologist Dong in 1978 who named a dinosaur “Micropachycephalosaurus” meaning “tiny thick-headed lizard”.
6. Rock and roll
Dinosaurs often swallowed large rocks to help them digest and grind up food. These stomach stones, called gastroliths have been found with dinosaur fossils.
6. The smallest
The smallest fully-grown dinosaur is the Lesothosaurus, which is a bird-hipped plant-eater about the size of a chicken.
7. The biggest
The heaviest and longest dinosaur is the Argentinosaurus at 40 meters and 77 tons, which is equivalent to 17 African elephants and four fire engines. This dinosaur is the largest land animal to ever live on Earth.
8. The earliest
The oldest known dinosaur is Saltopus.that lived 245 million years ago in what is now Scotland. Makes you wonder about the origin of the Loch Ness Monster.
9. Just call me "Grandpa"
Some scientists believe that Apatosaurus could live to be as old as 300 years, due to the large size of these mature dinosaurs. It is widely believed that most carnivorous dinosaurs lived to be only 30 years, while herbivores lived to 70 or 80 years.
10. You big baby!
Dinosaur eggs (like dinosaurs themselves) have been found in many sizes. The smallest are only as big as a penny, while the largest dinosaur eggs ever found were about 19 inches long.
For more cool dinosaur facts, check out Dinosaur Facts from the American Museum of Natural History and The Dinosaur Museum’s Dino Facts.
If you want to take part in new discoveries, join a paleontology dig offered at Ancient Odysseys and dig into the adventure!