Dinosaur Facts For Kids
The word dinosaur pertains to a category of a wide variety of animals that lived more than 100 million years ago. They also lived on the planet for more than 165 million years in total.
There were dinosaurs that were, based on their physical characteristics, more similar to today’s reptiles, and there were dinosaurs that were more similar to today’s birds.
The difference between them is in the way their hips worked.
There were also other creatures that lived on the planet Earth during the time periods of the dinosaurs, but not all of them can be categorized as dinosaurs.
For instance, there were no dinosaurs that were able to fly, and there were no dinosaurs that lived in an ocean habitat.
Today, we have been able to identify more than 330 different types of dinosaurs.
Diet of a Dinosaur
There were also different categories of dinosaurs based on what they ate.
There were some dinosaurs that were herbivores, meaning that they only ate plants, and there were some dinosaurs that were carnivores, meaning that they ate meat.
How do we know dinosaurs existed?
Fossils, or imprints into stone of animal and plant remains from millions of years ago, were the objects that provided information about the lives of dinosaurs.
Archeologists and paleontologists can dig up very old fossils and sometimes even skeletons or footprints of dinosaurs to learn all about their physical characteristics.
Many of these fossils and skeletons are now available for public viewing in museums around the world. There have been discoveries of dinosaurs on every continent on planet Earth.
What size were dinosaurs?
Overall, the dinosaurs tended to be significantly larger than much of the wildlife that is on Earth today. In fact, there were dinosaurs that actually reached more than 40 feet tall and higher!
On the other hand, there were also very small dinosaurs that looked a lot more similar in size to today’s birds and lizards. For instance, there were dinosaurs that were only about 1 foot tall.
There was a very large range in the size and type of dinosaurs. Some of them were very large but only ate plants, and some of them were smaller and could run very fast, and ate meat.
There were so many different types of dinosaurs, and many of them looked very different from each other. There were dinosaurs that walked on four legs and some that walked on two.
Additionally, there were dinosaurs that had spikes, horns, and other attack mechanisms. There were other dinosaurs that had protective features, like very thick skin.
There were also some dinosaurs that had feathers, like most of our birds today!
Where did the dinosaurs go?
Today, dinosaurs are extinct, meaning that they all died millions of years ago.
There are no remaining dinosaurs on the planet today, even if there are still animals that look very similar to how the dinosaurs once looked.
In general, the different types of scientists that study the dinosaurs, the planet and history still can only make educated guesses about why dinosaurs went extinct in the first place.
However, the accepted idea is that there might have been an extremely large meteorite that collided with the planet Earth millions of years ago.
This meteorite would have been large enough to shift enough dust to block the sunlight for many, many years.
Blocking out the light from the sun for so long caused plant life to die out, which resulted in the eventual deaths of all the dinosaurs at the time.
In the end, the cause of death of all of the dinosaurs was the climate change that they were not able to adapt to.