Dinosaurs are a huge and a diverse group of reptiles that used to live on our planet a very long time ago; between 243 and 231 million years. They used to be a lot too, as their skeletons were found on many different spots on our planet and not only in a single region. Research has proven that birds have evolved from dinosaurs, as they were the only lineage to survive the extinction event that took place about 66 million years ago, which led to the division of dinosaurs into avian dinosaurs, or birds; and non-avian dinosaurs, that are basically all dinosaurs other than birds. Until now, 500 distinct species of avian dinosaurs have been identified, while 1000 distinct species of non-avian dinosaurs have been also identified, although there are about 10000 living species of birds now. Scientists believe that the extinction of dinosaurs was because of a giant asteroid that may have hit Earth 65 or 66 million years ago, or because of an enormous volcanic activity that has changed the climate. Now, start reading below about some of the most interesting dinosaur facts for kids.
Dinosaur Facts For Kids
Types of Dinosaurs
There are many different types of dinosaurs that used to live on our planet; flying dinosaurs, nonflying dinosaurs, meat-eating dinosaurs, and vegetarian dinosaurs etc. Dinosaurs, in general, are usually classified according to their diet, species, size, or name. Keep in mind as well that not all dinosaurs used to live on our planet at the same time. The largest dinosaurs were actually plant eaters and not carnivores (meat eaters), such as the Brontosaurus, as many people might think that they are carnivores because of their huge size. Some of the plant-eating dinosaurs had spikes on their tails, such as the Stegosaurus, or three horns attached to their head shield, such as the Triceratops as you can see in the picture.
Among the most known types of dinosaurs are the Theropods, which are the meat-eating dinosaurs, and there are about 17 different kinds of them. Their height can reach 4 meters and they can weigh from 5 to 6 tons. The most famous and known kind of Theropods is the T-rex, and their speed can reach up to 19 km/h. They used to be among the largest and most terrifying carnivores that walked on our planet. Most of today’s birds have evolved from them.
Sauropods are the huge plant-eating dinosaurs that can weigh about 106 tons, while their height could reach 39 meters long. They are characterized by their long necks, small heads, and long tails, and they walked on four feet, unlike the Theropods that only walked on two feet. Their group mainly includes the largest animals that have ever lived on land, and their fossils were found on every continent on Earth, including Antarctica.
Their fossils were found in North America and in Portugal, and they were feeding mainly on herbs. It is one of the most recognizable types of dinosaurs because of their body shape, which has many spikes that they used as a weapon to protect themselves from carnivores. A large Stegosaurus could reach a length of 2.6 meters, and it could weigh up to 7 tons. It is also recognized by the many plates on its back that are similar to plates seen on many lizards and crocodiles nowadays, as such plates are arising from its skin and not attached to its skeleton. A single plate on a Stegosaurus can can measure up to 60 cm.
Those dinosaurs are mainly characterized by the three horns on their foreheads and by the bony frill on the back of their skulls. They also fed on herbs and plants, and their fossils were found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They can measure up to 9 meters and weigh up to 9 tons.
There are many other kinds and species of dinosaurs, but the ones mentioned above are among the most famous dinosaurs that are known to humanity. Many of the dinosaurs above may look very scary, and many people still may think that most of them are carnivores because of their scary looks, body structure, and huge size, but now you know that you won’t have to be scared of all of them.
2. Dinosaurs’ Lifespan:
In general, any animal’s lifespan is very related to its habitat, body size and to the conditions in which it used to live. Dinosaurs’ lifespans varied from tens of years to hundreds of years, and their most possible lifespan can be identified from the maximum lifespans of reptiles that live on our planet nowadays. An alligator, for example, can live up to 66 years, and a tortoise can live up to 152 years.
3. What Do Dinosaurs Eat?
A dinosaur’s diet could be much more complicated than anyone may imagine, as they lived millions of years ago. Carnivores had to hunt to get food for example, while other dinosaurs regularly fed on plants and herbs that were almost everywhere back then. In general, most of the dinosaurs were plant eaters, and their teeth were designed to strip trees of their leaves and chew fibrous plant matter. Some scientists also assume that such plant-eating dinosaurs probably consumed stones as well to help them grind down the plants in their stomachs. Many birds nowadays also do the same thing. Other dinosaurs that fed on meat had a completely different teeth structure that was designed only for one purpose, which is to rip flesh out of the bodies of other animals and dinosaurs as well. There are also some dinosaurs that ate both flesh and herbs and they can be identified from their unique teeth structure, as some of their teeth are capable of tearing through flesh, while other ones are capable of chewing plants and herbs. Such dinosaurs are called Omnivorous dinosaurs, and you will see a picture of one of them below. Some scientists say that those dinosaurs not only ate flesh and herbs but fed on a big variety of insects as well. So, dinosaurs lived for a long time and fed on a variety of different meals, which depends on the kind and habitat of each dinosaur.
Raymond Bennet is a freelance content writer from Carol City, Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami and started his activity in creative writing. Currently working at British Essay Writer for those who need a resourceful education or career assistance.