Dinosaur as an animal is very interesting to know about and surely takes us back in the period where they existed. It fascinates adults as much as it does to children. They were one of the strongest, gigantic and most dangerous looking animals that ever came to actuality. They belong to Dinosaurian clade and were first seen in the Triassic period.
They are assumed to have originated between 231 and 243 million years ago, although it still is a matter of research. The word dinosaur is derived from Greek words deinos meaning “fearfully great” or “potent” and sauros meaning “lizard” or “reptile”. According to a study, over 500 non-avian genera of dinosaurs have been identified and around 1850 genera are preserved in the fossil record, which means nearly 75% of it still needs to be discovered. Dinosaurs as specie were herbivorous; some were carnivorous including the ones who use to eat seeds, fish, insects and omnivores. So here is a list of the deadliest of all:
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Sinosauropteryx means “Chinese reptilian wing”. In 1996, it was the first dinosaur found with the evidence of feathers. It had a cover of a filament similar to a feather. It was the first non-avialian dinosaur in which coloration was determined. It was a small theropod with a long tail and short arms. The longest specimen was 3.5feet in length with approx weight of 0.55kg. It belongs to Compsognathidae family and is a close relative of Compsognathus. The only species of sinosauropteryx was named S. prima which means “first”. It was named that because of its appearance as the first feathered non-avialian species discovered. It belonged to now northeastern China towards the start of Cretaceous period and was the first dinosaur to be discovered from Yixian Formation.
The name comes from a Greek word diplos meaning “double” and dokos meaning “beam”. Their fossils were first found in 1877. They lived in what is western North America now and their fossils were commonly found in the middle and upper Morrison Formation. They are one of the longest dinosaurs that ever existed. They are known for their long and large neck and for a very long tail. Currently, the longest known Diplodocus dinosaur with complete skeleton is of length of 25 meters.
Liopleurodon comes from ancient Greek word leios “smooth”, pleura “side” and odon “tooth”.
They belong to a clade of short-necked plesiosaurs and are carnivorous marine reptiles. They have an approx length of about 25 meters. One of the paleontologist suggested that their size can be depicted with the size of their skull. According to that, the largest specimen was of about 10m. The size ranges from 5-7m. The body mass ranges between 1-1.7t for a length between 4.8-7m.
They lived 150-155 million years ago and belong to the late Jurassic period. Allosaurus came from a Greek word allos “different” and sauros “lizard”. Its first fossils were found in 1877. It was a large bipedal predator with a large skull with many sharp teeth. Its average length was about 8.5m. Its remains were found in North America’s Morrison Formation, few from Portugal and possibly Tanzania. It was known as Antrodemus for about half of 20th century but later Allosaurus was brought back to prominence. Allosaurus tops the food chain as it use to prey on herbivorous dinosaurs and use to hunt in packs.
Ankylosaurus is classified as armored dinosaur. Its remains were found in geological formations towards the end of the Cretaceous period, about 68-66 million years ago in western North America, making it last of the non-avian dinosaurs. The largest known dinosaur of this specie was 6.25m in length, 1.7m in height and 6 tones of weight. It had a robust body with a wide skull having two horns towards the back of the head. It belongs to the family of the Ankylosauridae and relatives to Anodontosaurus and Euoplocephalus. It was a slow moving animal but was able to move quickly when required. Nasal chambers and sinuses helped in water and heat balance or helped in vocalization. Tail was used as a defense from predators. They were found in Lance, Hell Creek and Scollard formations, but appeared rarely in that environment. They lived beside dinosaurs such as Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and Edmontosaurus.
Troodon were small dinosaurs which resembled to a bird. The belonged to Campanian age of Cretaceous period. It has minimum one species Troodon formosus, though several species have become a part of this genus after fossils representing them were found. Their remains were discovered in the parts Alaska, Wyoming and even from New Mexico and Texas. The name comes from a Greek word meaning “Wounding tooth”. The structure of their teeth suggested they had omnivorous diet. They were small dinosaurs with 0.9mof height, 2.4m in length and approx 50kg of weight. Very long hind limb suggests that they were quick runners. They had bigger brains compared to their body mass with cerebrum to brain ratio of 31.5 percent to 63 percent of a non-avian to an avian one.
Majungasauraus means “Mahajanga Lizard”. It belongs to abelisaurid theropod genus and was found in Madagascar towards the end of Cretaceous period from 70-66 million years back. The genus contains only one species Majungasaurus Crenatissimus. Majungasaurus has a junior synonym called majungatholus. Majungasaurus were medium sized dinosaurs measured 6-7m in length along with the tail. Few remains of bigger individuals show that they reached a length of about 8m and had an average weight of 1000kgs. They were bipedal predator with small snout. The details of forelimb are not known but were short and the hind limbs were long. They can be differentiated from other species of the same genus through its wide skull, rough texture and thick bone on the top. They have comparatively more teeth than other species of the same genus. They have recently become one of the most well studied dinosaurs from the Southern Hemispheres.
Spinoaurus means “Spine Lizard” and belongs to the theropod genus that comes from what now we call as North America. They were in Cretaceous period from 112-97 million years back. This genus was first found from Egyptian residues in 1912 and was described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. These remains were destroyed during World War II. The two known species are S. aegyptiacus of Egypt and S. maroccanus from Morocco. These are one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs. They were somewhere between 12.6-18m of length and 7-20.9 tones of weight. According to a recent study they could reach up to a length of 15m. They had a skull similar to modern day crocodilian. They are known as fish eaters and lived both on land and in water. As its name suggests it had spines which were extension of its vertebrae with at least a length of 1.65m.
Tyrannosaurus comes from a Greek word Tyrannos meaning “tyrant” and sauros meaning “lizard” belongs to Coelurosaurian theropod genus. Tyrannosaurus Rex (meaning “king”) is very well represented as large theropods. They lived on a continent named Laramidia, now known as western North America. Range of Tyrannosaurus is broader than others of the same genus. Fossils of Tyrannosaurus were found in different rock formations from maastrichtian age of Cretaceous Period, 68-66 million years back. They are bipedal carnivore with a huge skull and long and heavy tail to balance. Along with its powerful and large hind limbs, they had small but powerful fore limbs. The complete specimen of it measures to a length of 12.3m and 3.66m tall at hips and 10.2m tons of weight. They are amongst the largest land predators and have the largest biting force. Due to availability of enough fossils a lot of research could be done in aspects of biology like its biomechanics and life history.
Giganotosaurus means “giant southern lizard” and belongs to Carcharodontosaurid genus. They lived in the now Argentina during the start of Cenomanian age of the later of Cretaceous Period, approx 99.6-97 million years back. The specimens available are 70% complete, comprising of skull, pelvis, backbone and lower jaw. They have large skull of length up to 5.2feets. The skull was elongated and slender in build. Shoulder blades were thick and short; with kinks in shafts. The thigh bone was approx 4.7feets long and the head was pointing upwards. The largest of all the specimens had a length of 43feets and weighs between 6-13.8tonnes. Giganotosaurus have been one of the biggest dinosaurs to ever walk on earth.
Top 10 most Dangerous Dinosaurs
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Dinosaurs have always been a part of human culture even after years of their extinction. Dinosaur as a word in English is used to describe anything that’s huge or exceptionally large. The enthusiasm for dinosaurs amongst kids and for that matter adult also, increased with their appearance in movies, cartoons and their sculptures being displayed in the museums. So, however old we get, dinosaurs will always be a part of our fantasy world.