Q:

What are some dinosaur facts?

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Quick Answer

Birds evolved from dinosaurs, and some dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Mammals existed at the same time as dinosaurs, and most dinosaurs were vegetarian. Many dinosaurs had some form of intelligence as well.

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Modern species of birds evolved from a common feathered ancestor, the theropod, starting around the end of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Even though modern reptiles are cold-blooded, which means that their body temperature fluctuates with the surrounding climate, most carnivorous dinosaurs were more likely to be warm-blooded because of their predatory lifestyle, which is why birds are also warm-blooded. Meat-eating predators like the Tyrannosaurus rex and Giganotosaurus are rare compared to the amount of dinosaurs that had a vegetarian diet. Paleontologists speculate that herbivorous dinosaurs like the hadrosaurs, ornithopods and sauropods grazed on vegetation in herds like modern cattle graze in pastures.

The mammals that lived during the same time period as dinosaurs lived in treetops far away from predators during most of the Mesozoic Era. These mammals were small and furry and looked like mice. Other mammals, such as the 50-pound Repenomamus, hunted dinosaurs. Hunters such as T. rex and Troodon had more grey matter than herbivores like the stegosaurus. These predators had more thinking power than their prey and had a keen sense of coordination and heightened senses.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What was the longest dinosaur?

    A:

    Though there have been a few instances of scientists purporting to have found larger specimens, the longest known dinosaur that is widely accepted by paleontologists seems to be the Diplodocus, a type of sauropod dinosaur with a long neck and long tail that is said to have measured as much as 175 feet in length. There seems to be some controversy and debate around the question of which dinosaur is truly the longest, with scientists introducing competitors such as the Seismosaurus, which was once thought to be a distinct species but was eventually found to be a very large Diplodocus specimen. The Seismosaurus' discovery was announced in 1991, but its existence as a unique species was debunked just over a decade later, a fact that was announced at an academic event in 2004.

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  • Q:

    How tall is a raptor dinosaur?

    A:

    Velociraptors were about 1.6 feet tall at the hip and weighed up to 33 pounds, approximating the size of a turkey. They were significantly smaller than other members of the dromaeosaurid family, such as Deinonychus. Tail included, velociraptors could reach a length of 6.8 feet.

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  • Q:

    What was the largest dinosaur ever?

    A:

    In May 2014, the BBC reported that a discovery of the largest known dinosaur skeleton had taken place in Argentina; this dinosaur belongs to a group of large herbivorous dinosaurs known as Titanosaurus, which lived in the Late Cretaceous period. This skeleton, which was discovered by an Argentine farm laborer in a desert area about 130 miles west of Patagonia, included massive thigh bones that scientists used to make height and weight estimates. Based on these estimates, the dinosaur is thought to have weighed about 85 tons, also measuring 130 feet long and 65 feet tall at its highest point.

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  • Q:

    What do you do if you find a dinosaur bone?

    A:

    Individuals who believe that they have found a fossilized dinosaur bone in an outdoor area should avoid touching it and instead take a photo and make note of its exact location using a map before making contact with a natural history museum such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. However, this procedure is not legally binding, particularly if the fossil is discovered on private land, though moral obligation may tell a different story. In the United States, individuals who find a fossil on their land are not required to report or hand it over to any authority.

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