Dinosaurs were giant lizards that once walked the earth. The majority of them were plant-eaters, and others ate meat. But they all vanished 65 million years ago after a meteor hit the planet. Even though everyone knows a lot about these big creatures, there are some things that you might not know or never heard before. In this article, you will learn some interesting facts about these big lizards. Let’s get started, shall we?
- The name “giganotosaurus” has no connection with gigantic
Giganotosaurus was a meat-eating and terrifying dinosaur that had similarities to Spinosaurus and the T-rex. But its name, which is pronounced as “GEE-gah-NO-toe-SORE-us,” doesn’t mean “gigantic lizard.” Giganotosaurus is a Greek word that translates to “giant southern lizard’
- Some of the dinosaurs were small
Even though you are well aware that Dinosaurs are massive creatures., you will be amazed that there were several dinosaurs that were smaller in size. The most well-known small-sized dinosaurs were “Compsognathus,” or Compy. They were the size of a chicken. They were carnivores and hunted in packs. Another small dinosaur is the “Velociraptor,” which had the size of a turkey.
- All dinosaurs were not “DINOSAURS”
Prehistoric reptiles were known as dinosaurs, including mosasaurs, pterosaurs, dimetrodon, and plesiosaur. But the truth is, these creatures were not dinosaurs at all. Instead, they fell under different taxonomic categories. For instance, the dimetrodon existed for 300 million years and 70 million years before the dinosaurs.
- Dinosaurs didn’t have two brains
One notable but outdated fable about dinosaurs is that many big dinosaurs, especially Stegosaurus, have two brains. Some paleontologists explained that the massive cavity based on the stegosaurus spine is the area where the 2nd brain is located.
But really? Dinosaurs with two brains? That’s not true at all.
These creatures had big nerve clusters located at the bases of their spins, just like the other animals and humans. Due to such reasons, the experts believed that they had another brain located in that area. Many believed that dinosaurs were stupid, but if you take the raptors, for example, they were pretty smart.
- Velociraptor had feathers
Dinosaurs were viewed as the ancestors of modern birds, which means that they also had feathers. Velociraptor was known to be covered with feathers, making this most falsified dinosaur appearance because it almost looked like a peculiar bird.
Paleontology became so advanced during the middle of the 90s that it revolutionized everyone’s beliefs and knowledge of dinosaurs. It’s also believed that the well-known Tyrannosaurus Rex had vestigial feathers rather than those tiny arms.
- Spinosaurus is the only aquatic animal
Since plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and the mosasaurs were not exactly dinosaurs, there were not many aquatic dinosaurs left.
During the Jurassic Period, gigantic beasts that used to jump out of the water were mosasaurs, which grew up to 50 feet in length.
But the only dinosaur, which was largely aquatic, was the Spinosaurus. A vicious predator that hunted both aquatic and terrestrial prey, just like the modern-day crocodile.
Spinosaurus was also one of the biggest meat-eating dinosaurs. They might have been larger than the Giganotosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- The dinosaurs cohabited with the mammals
Many individuals think that dinosaurs are the predecessors to mammals. But that’s not the case here. These giant lizards were the ancestors of modern-day birds and co-existed with the mammals for around 150 million years.
Dinosaurs dominated the lands during their time, and numerous small mammals also lived together with them. But the mammals started to become diverse and bigger when the dinosaurs’ collapse left behind a massive place for these mammals to fill.
While the T-Rex was big and walked around the land, which is now known as North America, the majority of the mammals were not that bigger than mice or rats. Also, the ancestors of the modern mammalian genera existed already during the time of the dinosaurs.
- Dinosaurs did not live entirely in humid jungles
The changes in the climate are a crucial part of the Earth’s evolutionary past. When these big lizards dominated the Earth, the world at that time was pretty diverse.
The atmosphere had more carbon dioxide and oxygen, and the weather was pretty warm. But the dinosaurs lived for 150 million years and across a diverse range of settings.
Some resided in humid wilderness biomes, while the others called swamps their home. Many of these lizards even flourished in colder conditions as well. For instance, Cryolophosaurus, which weighed 1000 LB, lived in what is now known as Antarctica.
- All the dinosaurs lived around the same time
These giant creatures didn’t just co-inhabit with the Mammalian Ancestors but also crossed a diverse and lengthy period. You might not believe this, but some of the most-popular dinosaurs have lived in different times.
Take Stegosaurus, for instance, this creature lived during the late Jurassic Period, around 155 million to 150 million years ago. So, there is no chance that they got to meet the Triceratops because they did not appear after 80 million years.
These giant lizards have crossed three main eras: the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic. The dinosaurs featured in the movie “Jurassic Park” were from the Cretaceous period, which trailed the Jurassic.
- The dinosaurs vanished instantly
Apocalyptic extermination that took place 66 million years ago brought the end of about 75% of the animal and plant life on Earth. A meteor that formed the now-famous Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, shuddered the whole Earth right to its core, bringing rapid changes to the entire global climate.
The atmosphere was filled with dust, which blocked out a lot of sunlight and caused the temperatures to plunge. But these big lizards didn’t vanish that instantly, as their fortune was still wrapped with their lack of aptitude to adapt to the post-apocalyptic world. Even though the larger dinosaurs died first, the small ones lasted for two centuries.
Through this article, you will get to know some of the most amazing and never-heard-before curiosities about the dinosaurs that dominated planet earth for over 150 million years.