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Worksheet 2: Favourite Dinosaur - A-Z of different dinosaurs types

 

Over 220 million years ago, dinosaurs ruled the earth. Like lizards and crocodiles they had scaly skin and laid eggs. Unlike crocodiles and most lizards however, they all lived on land. Some dinosaurs were meat eaters (carnivores), while others ate only plants (herbivores)

The boens, teeth, footprints, and even skin impression have been preserved in rock as fossils. We can study the dinosaur remains and can build up a picture of these strange animals that ruled our land for more than 150 million years.

When a dinosaur skeleton is found, it is usually easy to decide which group of dinosaurs it belongs to. The species name is most commonly used when describing a certain type of dinosaur.

These names, like most dinosaur names are derived from Latin and Greek words that describe the animals. They are a kind of short hand way of describing the distinguishing features of the dinosaurs

The species name is most commonly used when describing a certain type of dinosaur.

Dinosaurs are divided into two large groups, or orders depending on the orientation of their 3 hip-bones:

1) Saurischia - means 'lizard hipped', with each of the three bones pointing in a different direction
2) Ornithischia - means 'bird hipped', with the two lower bones pointing backwards.

 

Below is a list of dinosaur's in alphabetical species order:

 

Acanthopholis
Name: Acanthopholis (a-kan-thof-o-liss)
Means: Spine Bearer
Lived: Middle to late Cretaceous
Size: 5.5m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: The armour was made up of rows of oval plates made from bone set in the skin, and sharp spikes along the middle of its back

Albertosaurus
Name: Albertosaurus (al-bert-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Alberta Reptile (Alberta, Canada was were it was first discovered)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 8m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: It was smaller than Tyrannosaurus, but still a fearsome beast

 

Allosaurus
Name: Allosaurus (al-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Strange Reptile
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 11m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Allosaurus was different to other meat eating dinosaurs in the shape of its skull - it had a ridge that ran form between the eyes to the tip of the snout and there were also bumps above the eyes.

Ankylosaurus
Name: Ankylosaurus (ank-ih-low-saw-rus)
Means: Stiff Reptile
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 10.7m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: The body and limbs were powerful and protected by spines and bone plates, even the eyelids had bony shields embedded in them. The tail carried a heavy mass of bone at the end of it that it used as a club if an enemy approcoached. It had a weak jaw and small teeth so it only ate small tender plants

Apatosaurus

Name: Apatosaurus (a-pat-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Deceptive Reptile
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 5.5m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: It has also been called Brontosaurus (thunder reptile) but the name Apatosaurus was given first. At birth, a baby Apaotosaurus weighed approximately 3kg (about the same as a human baby), however when fully grown it weighed about 30 tonnes! It therefore spent a great deal of time in the water which helped support its immense weight. They could live to be about 200 years old

Camptosaurus
Name: Camptosaurus (kamp-toe-saw-rus)
Means: Flexible Reptile
Lived: Late Jurassic - Early Cretaceous
Size: 7m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Very similiar to Iguanodon, however it had smaller hooves on each finger of the hand, which showed that it walked on all fours some of the time.
Ceratosaurus

Name: Ceratosaurus (ser-a-toe-saw-rus)
Means: Horned Reptile
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 6m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: It had a horn on its nose that was probably used by males in fighting for a mate

Cetiosaurus
Name: Cetiosaurus (seet-ee-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Whale reptile
Lived: Middle to late Jurassic
Size: 18m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Cetiosaurus was one of the earliest sauropods and considered somewhat primitive as its massive backbone was solid. Lter sauropods had hollow area in their bones to cut down on the weight

Coelophysis
Name: Coelophysis (seel-oh-fy-sis)
Means: Hollow Form
Lived: Late Triassic
Size: 3m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Coelophysis was very slim and it could have run on two legs or four. The hands only had 3 fingers, but were strong. Compsognathus
Name: Compsognathus (komp-sog-nath-us)
Means: Pretty jaw
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 60cm long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: The adult was one of the smallest known dinosaurs, and it was no bigger than a hen

Corythosaurus
Name: Corythosaurus (ko-rith-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Helmeted Reptile
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 10m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: The crest on the top of its head had l tubes running from the nostrils on the snout up into the crest and then back down again into the mouth. It may have used this complicated breathing tube system to make loud bellows and honks.

Diononychus

Name: Diononychus (dyne-on-ik-us)
Means: Terrible Claw
Lived: Early Cretaceous
Size: 4m long
Hip Type: Saurischia?

Interesting fact: Its most remarkable feature was the large curved scythe-like claw on the second toe of the foot. When it ran it flicked the big claw back and placed the shorter toes on the ground.

Diplodocus
Name: Diplodocus (dip-lod-oh-kus)
Means: Double Beam
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 27m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: The term 'double beam' refers to a special feature of diplodocus' backbone. There were small bones below the backbone which had a piece running forward as well as the normal piece that runs back - a 'double beam'. Diplodocus was the one of the longest dinosaurs, it was about as long as a tennis court. Its brain was about the size of a hen's egg

Hadrosaurus
Name: Hadrosaurus (ser-a-toe-saw-rus)
Means: Bulky Reptile
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 10m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It had a long low skull with a typical 'duck billed' shape. There was a rounded hump in front of the eyes and above the nostrils.

Hylaeosarus
Name: Hylaeosarus (hy-lee-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Woodland Reptil
Lived: Early Cretaceous
Size: 6m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: This was one of the first dinosaurs to be named

Iguanodon
Name: Iguanodon (ig-wa-no-don)
Means: Iguana tooth
Lived: Early Cretaceous
Size: 9m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It was the second dinosaur to be named. The hand had four long fingers and a pointed spiky thumb, which was probably used as a weapon. There were no teeth at all at the front of the jaw - only a bony beak. The cheek teeth were strong and ridged. Iguanodon may have pulled plants into its mouth with its tongue and nipped them off with its beak.

Lambeosaurus
Name: Lambeosaurus (lam-bee-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Lambe's reptile (Lambe was a Canadian palaentologist)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 15m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Lambeosaurus had a square shaped crest which pointed forwards, and with a long spine running backwards. The nostrils ran up from the snout and through the whole crest, so that the whole thing was hollow. In some species, the crest was bigger than the skull

Lealleynosaura
Name: Lealleynosaura (lee-al-een-oh-saw-rus)
Means: ? Reptile
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 2m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It was only recently discovered (1989) in Inverloch (Victoria, Australia). This was a large-eyed, fast running, plant-eating dinosaur.
Massospondylus
Name: Massospondylus (mass-oh-spond-ih-lus)
Means: Massive Vertebra
Lived: Early Jurassic
Size: 4m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: It had large strong hind legs, its arms were also strong, and the hand could have been used for walking or for grasping. The thumb was huge and it had a large curved claw.

Megalosaurus
Name: Megalosaurus (meg-a-low-saw-rus)
Means: Great Reptile
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 9m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: The teeth had long strong roots that fixed them firmly into the jaw bone. The top of the tooth was curved backwards and flattened from side to side, and the back and front edges had jagged ridges, like the edge of a steak knife.Minmi
Name: Minmi (min-me)
Means: Named after the place it was found (Minmi in QLD, Australia)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 2m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: First Anklyosauria found anywhere within Australia. Minmi had small, bony plates on its underside as well as on its armoured back.

Muttaburrasaurus
Name: Muttaburrasaurus (mut-a-bur-a-saw-rus)
Means: Named after the place it was found (Muttaburra in QLD, Australia)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 7m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It is the most complete Australian dinosaur found so far, and was only recently discovered (1981). Muttaburrasaurus had a beak at the front of its mouth and a strange bulging nose.

Ornitholestes
Name: Ornitholestes (or-nith-oh-less-teez)
Means: Bird robber
Lived: Late Jurassic
Size: 2m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: It was clearly a fast runner (legs and arms were slim and long), and may have fed on small animals like lizards, frogs and early mammals
Ouranosaurus
Name: Ouranosaurus (oo-ran-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Brave Reptile
Lived: Early Cretaceous
Size: 7m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It was related to Iguanodon, but had a tall sail down its back. The sail was supported by a fence of the spines of the backbone - one on each vertebra. The sail was made of skin, and blood vessels must have flowed through it. It may have used the sail to keep its body temperature constant. Another meat-eater with a sail was Spinosaurus

Oviraptor
Name: Oviraptor (ove-ih-rap-tor)
Means: Egg Thief
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 1.8m long
Hip Type: Saurichia?

Interesting fact: It had a short head and a powerful toothless beak. The jaws were curved so that it could crush very hard objects.

Parasaurolophus
Name: Parasaurolophus (par-a-sawr-ol-oh-fus)
Means: Reptile with paralell-sided crest
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 10m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It was one of the most bizarre duck-billed dinosaurs. It has a long tubular crest that curved back from its snout for a distance of up to 1.8m. The crest may have been a signal to let other Parasurolophus recognise a member of their own species. If Parasaurolophus breathed out strongly it could have made a honk or bellow inside the crest.

Pentaceratops

Name: Pentaceratops (pen-ta-ser-a-tops)
Means: Five-horned face
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 6m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Pentaceratops had more horns that the other horned dinosaurs. It used its horns for defense against meat-eating dinosaurs, and likely that it used its frill for display.

Procompsognathus
Name: Procompsognathus (pro-comp-sog-nath-us)
Means: Before Compsonagthus
Lived: Late Triassic
Size: 1m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: It was a very small early dinosaur. It was an agile running, meat eater that probably fed on small lizard-like animals and insects. The skull was only 8 centimeters long

Protoceratops
Name: Protoceratops (pro-toe-ser-a-tops)
Means: First horned-face
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 1.8m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: The young protoceratops must have been less than 20cm long when they hatched. As they grew to their full 1.8m, their bony head-frills became broader and taller. These anchored the large muscles that gave Protoceratops' jaws the strength to bite tough leaves and plant-stems

Psittacosaurus
Name: Psittacosaurus (sit-ak-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Parrot Reptile
Lived: Early Cretaceous
Size: 1.5m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Psittacosaurus seemed to be partly Ornithopod and partly horned dinosaur. It had long hindlegs and shorter arms so that it probably walked up right like Iguanodon, however its skull was a little like that of an erly ceratopsian. Psittacosaurus infants were only 25 cm long

Rhoetosaurus
Name: Rhoetosaurus (reet-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Rhoetos (A Greek mythical giant)
Lived: Middle Jurassic
Size: 12m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Not much is known about Rhoetosaurus, as the skeleton recovered was incomplete. Discovered in Australia (1924)

Shantungosaurus
Name: Shantungosaurus (Shahn-doong-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Named after the place it was found (Shantung in China)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 12m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: It is the largest of the Ornithopoda group, being over 12m long it could have looked over the roof of a three storey house. A grown man standing beside it just reaches the knee

Silvisaurus
Name: Silvisaurus (sil-vih-saw-rus)
Means: Forest Reptile
Lived: Early Cretaceous
Size: 4m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Its body was covered with an armour of flat honeycomb shaped or round plates. There were some rounded spikes stickingout sideways on the tail and on some parts of the body

Spinosaurus
Name: Spinosaurus (spine-o-saw-rus)
Means: Spiny Reptile
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 12m long
Hip Type: Saurschia

Interesting fact: Spinosaurus was a strange meat-eating dinosaur with a sail on its back. The sail was made from skin on the back of each vertebra of the backbone. Some of these spines were 2m high (taller than a human being). Spinosaurus may have used its sail to control its body temperature.

Staurikosaurus
Name: Staurikosaurus (stor-i-ko-saw-rus)
Means: Cross Reptile
Lived: Late Triassic
Size: 2m long
Hip Type: Saurischia?

Interesting fact: It was one of the early two legged dinosaurs. Its head was quite large and its teeth show that it probably ate meat.

Stegosaurus
Name: Stegosaurus (steg-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Roofed Reptile
Lived: Early Jurassic
Size: 9m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: The stegosaurs bony plated armour was to protect it from attack, but they also helped to keep it cool. It had a tiny tubular skull with a brain the size of a walnut. Its teeth were small, blunt and leaf-like. At the end of the tail there were four long spines, used for protection. Its hind legs were twice the length of its forelegs.

Stenonychosaurus
Name: Stenonychosaurus (sten-on-ik-oh-saw-rus)
Means: Narrow clawed reptile
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 2m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Thought to have been the 'brainiest' dinosaur - as it had the largest brain relative to body size. Stenonychosaurus is thought to have been an active intelligent hunter with good senses and quick reflexes.

Struthomimus
Name: Struthomimus (strooth-ee-ow-saw-rus)
Means: Ostrich mimic
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 3.5m long
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Struthomimus was shaped like an ostrich, but without feathers. It had no teeth only a horny beak, and like its modern day cousins was an exceptionally fast runner.

Triceratops
Name: Triceratops (try-ser-a-tops)
Means: Three-horned face
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 9m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Triceratops had a bony frill to protect its head, neck and shoulders. It's head was enormous, nearly a third as long as its whole body. Its curved jaw was very strong and like a parrots beak. Although it was a plant eater it was very fierce - even fighting with its own kind.Triceratops is the best known horned dinosaur. It had three horns: one on its nose and two long ones above its eyes.

Tsintaosaurus
Name: Tsintaosaurus (ching-dah-oo-saw-rus)
Means: Named after the place it was found (Ch'ingtao in China)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 10m long
Hip Type: Ornithischia

Interesting fact: Tsintaosaurus was a very strange duck-billed dinosaur. It had a tall horn on the top of its head, just between the eyes.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Name: Tyrannosaurus Rex
Means: Tyrant Reptile (King)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 15m
Hip Type: Saurischia

Interesting fact: Tyrannosaurus was the biggest and most powerful flesh eater that ever lived on earth. A grown man would hardly have come up to its knees. Its jaw was about 1.5 m long, with teeth that were 15 cm long and were serrated like carving knives. Tyrannosaurus needed a lot of food, so probably spent all its waking hours hunting for food.

Velociraptor
Name: Velociraptor
Means: Named after the place it was found (Shantung in China)
Lived: Late Cretaceous
Size: 12m long

Interesting fact: It is the largest of the Ornithopoda group, being over 12m long it could have looked over the roof of a three storey house. A grown man standing beside it just reaches the knee

 

Not Dinosaurs - but just as ancient

Reptiles of the Air

A small fluffy bird is about the last animal we would associate with the vast, scaly, terrifying dinosaurs. Yet birds appeared on Earth about the same time as the dinosaurs, and are quite closely related to them.

The reptiles of the air were mainly gliders, not flyers. The leathery, batlike wings were weakly muscled and therefore lacked the powerful flying muscles that birds of today show.

The very large ones must have had problems in flapping such huge wings, and probably flew by using currents of warm air that rise from the surface of the earth, this would allow them to soar.


Archeopteryx as far as we know was one of the first birds to evolve. It had some body parts similar to the dinosaurs and others that were distinctly birdlike. It had feathers and could fly but was still very reptilian in many ways. Most obviously, its beak was filled with sharp reptilian teeth and its wings bore 4 long claws.


Pterandon

Pterandon had a wing-span of more than 5m, and half the length of its head consisted of a long bony crest, which may have been used as a rudder to guide and balance the animal whilst in flight.

Pterodactylus

Pterodactylus was a small, sometimes even sparrow-sized, wing fingered pterosaur. Like other of its group it had no tail, but had a long flexible neck.
On land with their wings folded, some pterosaurs may have walked on their sharp toed feet whilst other may have used both their front and rear limbs.

Quetzalcoatlus

Quetzalcoatlus was the largest known pterosaur known, and had a wingspan of about 12m. The entire animal may have weighted 86kg, as much as a large human being!

Rhamphorhynchus.

Rhamphorhynchus had a slender skull with forward pointing, spiky teeth. It's skull and hind legs show some similarities with those of the earliest dinosaurs. It had a short neck and long tail. This tail, strengthend by extra bony rods was used as a rudder when flying.

Sordes

Sordes appears to have had a thick, hairy coat, which would have kept the pterosaur warm during its flights. This is quite unusual as reptiles are normally covered in scales, mammals with hair, and birds with feathers!

 

Reptiles of the sea

While dinosaurs ruled the land for millions of years, some reptiles chose a life at sea. During the ago of the dinosaurs, the marine reptiles like icthyosaurs, pleiodaurs, pliosaurs, and the turtles were some of the fiercest and largest animals of the world's waterways.

 

Elasmosaurus.
Elasmosaurus was a remarkable long-necked pleiosaur.
Its neck was more than half of its 13m in length and was made up of 40 (or more) bones, it is likely that with such a long neck it could bend it around like a snake in order to catch fast moving fish.
Elasmosaurus fits the description of both ancient sea monsters and creatures like the famous modern-day "Loch Ness monster"

Muraeonsaurus.

Muraeonsaurus (another plesiosaur) found it easy to float in the sea because of its air-filled lungs, however it was not so easy for them to dive under water. Like deep-sea divers they needed weight to help them stay down in the sea, so they swallowed pebbles - just as crocodiles do today

Ichthyosaurus.
Ichthyosaurus with its flippers, fins and smooth, streamlined body was incredibly dolphin-like and this species was probably the acrobat of the seas.

Kronosaurus

Kronosaurus was a huge pliosaur - 17m in length! Fossil evidence for this creature's existence has only been found in Australia

Macroplata

Macroplata was was another fearsome pliosaur - with powerful paddles this enormous marine reptile flew through the sea.

 

Peloneustes

Peloneustes was a small short-necked pliosaur. It was only 3m long. Like other pliosaurs it probably hunted by hiding in wait for its prey and then diving quickly after it.

 

Shonisaurus

Shonisaurus is the largest known icthyosaur known. It was a massive 15m long with a deep vast body. It lived about 210 million years ago

 

Archelon

Archelon was a gigantic 4m long turtle that lived near the end of the dinosaur era.
Turtles, one of the oldest surviving groups of reptiles first appeared about 210 million years ago.

 


Information Sources:

 

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