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Theropods

Theropods

Theropods

The theropod (meaning ʺbeast‐footedʺ) are a diverse group of bipedal saurischian, or “‐ hipped,”dinosaurs. They include the largest terrestrial ever to have made the tremble. What most people think of as theropods (e.g., T. rex, ) are extinct today, but recent studies have conclusively shown that are actually the descendants of small non‐flying theropods. 1

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: - 40 ft. - Although it is one of the most Rex long popular dinosaurs, it only came - 20 ft. onto the scene right tall before mass . - 6 - Scientists have still yet to tons. determine why it had such short arms, despite many competing theories. - T rex had a bite force of between 1,500 and 3,000 lbs (comparable to a modern day ).

1 http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/saurischia/theropoda.html

Deinonychus Cretaceous -10 ft. - Deinonychus was agile, fast, and long strong, and may have been a -5 ft. tall hunter. -150 - It had a large brain, and many lbs. speculate it was very intelligent and could learn new behaviors. - Research of Deinonychus has led scientist to think some dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Cretaceous -46 ft. - The first Giganotosaurus was long discovered by an amateur - 12 ft. enthusiast named Ruben Carolini. tall - Giganotosaurus is compared a lot -8 tons to T rex, but it was bigger, faster, and lived 30 million before . - Although often pronounced as the gigant-o-saurus, the correct way to say it is jig-a-NOT-oh- SAWR-us. - Has the largest of all theropods.

Allosaurus - 38 ft. - Most come long from the Mid-West of the United - 16.5 States, but some remains have ft. tall also been discovered in - 1,400 and . lbs. - Scientists debate whether Allosaurus was a lone hunter, , or . This applies to many of the other large theropods as well.

Carcharodontosaurus Cretaceous -26 to - All of the current fossil 44 ft. discoveries come from North long Africa, although the first finds -23 ft. were destroyed during WWII. tall - The name -8 tons means “-toothed .”

Velociraptor Cretaceous -5 ft. -These dinosaurs were long popularized in the movie Jurassic -3 ft. tall Park, but were at least twice as big - 15 to as they would have been in real 33 lbs. . - Its stiff helped turn quickly when running and . - Some scientists think its body may have been covered in . Cretaceous -16 to - Utahraptor’s second was 23 ft. retractable and 9-15 inches long. long - Many scientists think Utahraptor - 5 to 6 was warm-blooded, which would ft. tall have given it a huge advantage in -1,000 hunting in different climates. lbs. - As the name suggest, all skeletal remains discovered have been from .

Oviraptor Cretaceous - 6 to 8 - were once thought to ft. long be thieves because one of the - 3 ft. first ones discovered was found tall near what was thought to be - 55 to . Later, 76 lbs. scientists realized the was most likely caring for its own eggs. - These dinosaurs have instead of teeth, which they could use for hunting and defense. - 9 ft. - Hundreds of these dinosaurs long have been discovered at Ghost - 4 ft. Ranch in New . Scientists tall think they may have belonged to a - 60 lbs. pack or that died together very suddenly. - Coelophysis means “hollow form.” Scientists stuck with this name because of the -like hollow of the dinosaur, which made it a light and swift runner.

Compsognathus Jurassic - 3 ft. - was long approximately the size of a - 1 ft. and one of the smallest dinosaurs tall ever discovered. - 7 lbs. - Its skull is not formed of many plates fused together, but rather little bits of held together by . - Scientists debate whether Compsognathus may have been an ancestor to . Jurassic - 20 ft. - Although long popularized in - 8 ft. for tall having a frill - 1,000 and the ability to lbs. spit venom, scientists have found no evidence to support these ideas. - The two crests on top of the skull were not strong enough for head butting in skirmishes.

Dromaeosaurus Cretaceous - 6 ft. - Scientists believe it was possible long that was covered -2.5 ft. in feathers. tall - Its bite was three times stronger - 33 lbs. than a Velociraptor. - A complete has never been found, and due to a lack of fossil remains, little is still known about this dinosaur.

Troodon Cretaceous - 6 to 7 - is thought to be the ft. long smartest dinosaur that ever lived. - 3.3 ft. - This dinosaur’s teeth are different tall than the other theropods, and - 60 to suggest Troodon was an 99 lbs. . - Troodon reproduction was intermediate between and birds, and may be an important evolutionary link.

Spinosaurus Cretaceous - 52 to - lived predominantly 59 ft. in northern Africa. long - These dinosaurs most likely had - 7 to an opportunistic lifestyle in which 10 tons. they switched between terrestrial and aquatic . - This was quite possibly the longest and largest theropod dinosaur that ever lived.

Archaeopteryx Jurassic - up to - Archaeopteryx is the oldest and 1.6 ft most primitive bird known. body - This find marks an intermediate length link between modern day birds and ancient predatory dinosaurs. - It is unclear whether Archaeopteryx was a glider or wing flapper when in .

Sauropodomorpha

Sauropods are a subgroup of the saurischian, or ʺlizard‐hipped,ʺ dinosaurs. This group of quadrupedal (four‐legged), herbivorous had a relatively simple which varied only slightly throughout the group. True sauropods appeared in the and began to diversify in the , about 180 million years ago. They had very long and , relatively small and brains, and erect limbs reminiscent of the limbs of . The nostrils of these animals were located high up on the skulls, rather than being located at the end of the snout.2

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: Jurassic -90 ft. - Due to its large size, it is thought long that Diplodocus (and similar - 30 ft. dinosaurs) could not hold its neck tall more than 17 feet above the - 10 to ground. 12 tons - Compared to other sauropods, Diplodocus is considered the lightest. - When eating, this dinosaur would most likely strip branches with its teeth and swallow food whole.

2 http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/saurischia/sauropoda.html

Camarasaurus Jurassic -24 to - is one of the best 65 ft. known large dinosaurs because long many full have been - 23 ft discovered. tall - Its bones were filled with air -20 chambers, which made it more tons light-weight than and . - Scientists believe they did not care for their young, since they laid eggs in rows rather than . Brachiosaurus Jurassic -80 ft. - They could eat up to 440 lbs of long food a day. -50 ft. - Brachiosaurs traveled in tall and would have to move once -30 to eating all of the food in one place. 80 tons - Unlike most dinosaurs, its front legs were longer than its hind legs. Therefore, it known as the “arm lizard” (that’s what Brachiosaurus means!).

Apatosaurus Jurassic -70 to - The dinosaur formerly known as 90 ft. is now called long Apatosaurus. -20 ft. - Apatosaurus means “deceptive tall lizard.” Scientists thought this was -33 to a good name because these 38 tons dinosaur’s skeletons looked a lot like Plesiosaurus, and previously this was thought to suggest Apatosaurus lived in water.

Marginocephalia

Marginocephalians (meaning ʺfringed headsʺ) are a group of Ornithischian (bird‐hipped) dinosaurs that have a distinctive skull structure (a slight shelf or bony frill on the back of the skull), a unique palate (part of the mouth) and a short (part of the hip). These plant‐eaters include the Ceratopsians and the Pachycephalosaurians.3

Name: Picture: Period: Size: Interesting Facts: Cretaceous -30 ft. - For many years, paleontologists long debated whether Triceratops - 10 ft. walked on its legs upright (like an tall ), or out to the side (like - 6 to 10 an alligator). tons - Scientists still debate the purpose of the head frill, which may have been used for protection, as a mate attractant, or a coolant for the body on hot days.

3 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinoclassification/.shtml

Protoceratops Cretaceous -6 to 8 - Unlike many of the other ft. long Ceratopsian dinosaurs, -3 ft. Protoceratops did not have any tall horns on its snout or head. -900 - Protoceratops lived in the lbs of , and was the first dinosaur for which scientists were able to find fossilized eggs and nests.

Stegoceras Cretaceous - 7 ft. - Scientists believe running may long have been the first line of - 4 ft. defense for this bipedal tall dinosaur. - 170 - On occasion, may lbs. have crouched down on all fours to eat low vegetation. - The thick-domed head was probably not used for ramming, as previously thought, because that area was actually light and fragile.

Pachycephalosaurus Cretaceous - 15 to - was 16 ft. probably bipedal and was the long largest of the - 10 ft. pachycephalosaurid (bone- tall headed) dinosaurs. - 950 - Nearly all of the fossils lbs. discovered have been found in the of the . - When running, this dinosaur probably held it’s back parallel to the floor.

Ornithopods

Ornithopods (meaning ʺbird feetʺ) are a suborder of ornithischian dinosaurs that had a , a two‐legged walk or a two‐ legged and four‐legged walk, and no body armor. These plant‐eating dinosaurs lived from the late Triassic period until the Cretaceous period.4

Name: Picture: Period: Size: Interesting Facts: Cretaceous - 30 ft. - Iguanodon had a cone-shaped long spike that was probably - 16 ft. used for self-defense. tall - Scientists believe dinosaurs like - 4 to Iguanodon most often walked on 5 tons two legs, but would sometimes stoop down on all four legs as well. - This dinosaur gets it name from its teeth, which closely resemble those of the modern day .

4 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinoclassification/.shtml

Saurolophus Cretaceous -30 to - was one of the few 40 ft. hadrosaurs to live on two separate long continents— and - 17 ft. . tall - This dinosaur’s name means - 3 “crested lizard.” tons

Parasaurolophus Cretaceous - 40 ft. - There are many interpretations long concerning the function of the - 16 ft. head crest on dinosaurs like tall . Scientists - 2 believe it may have been used for tons sexual identification, sounding an alarm, or maybe as a way to regulate body temperature.

Thyreophora

The thyreophorans were armored herbivorous dinosaurs, living from the until the end of the Cretaceous. Thyreophorans are characterized by the presence of body armor lined up in longitudinal rows along the body. Primitive forms had simple, low, keeled or whereas more derived forms developed more elaborate structures including spikes and plates.5

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: Jurassic - 26 to - Although Stegosaurus was pretty 30 ft. large, its head was about the same long size as that of a horse. - 9 ft. - Stegosaurus’ brain was as large tall as a walnut. - 4 tons - Scientists debate whether Stegosaurs had plates aligned in parallel rows or if they lay flat along the back. - Most Stegosaur finds come from Asia.

5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyreophora

Ankylosaurus Cretaceous -25 to - had a large 30 ft. stomach for food storage. Since long digestion was a long process for -4 ft. tall this dinosaur, they are often -3 to 4 thought to have been very tons gaseous. - The most vulnerable area on the body was the under-belly, since it was not protected by plates or spikes. - It also had a tiny brain and was not considered very intelligent.

Marine

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: Plesiosaurus Jurassic and - 8 to - Traces of have been found, Cretaceous 46 ft. suggesting that the Plesiosaurs long were smooth and not scaly. - They are thought to be slow swimmers that would coast right below the water’s surface to catch unsuspecting and cephalopods. - Contrary to popular belief, Plesiosaurs were unable to lift their head vertically above the water. Keichousaurus Triassic -15 to - Although it spent most of its time 30 cm in the water catching fish, these long reptiles were able to use their strong front legs to crawl onto land. - Keichousaurus was most likely an ancestor to the Plesiosaurs.

- Fossil specimens have only been discovered in Asia.

Ichthyosaur Triassic and - 6 to - Unlike most reptiles, they gave Jurassic 13 ft. birth to live young. long - had really large eyes for their size (up to 264 mm), and they were even bigger than those of the modern day blue whale.

Mosasaurus Cretaceous -40 to -Although lived 59 ft. primarily in the , it had to long resurface periodically for air. - By opening its mouth up to 3 ft. wide, these dinosaurs could swallow large prey. - Scientists believe may have shared an ancestor with or monitor .

Flying Reptiles

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: Cretaceous - wing - Pteranodon means “winged and span 9 toothless.” to 20 ft - All had a fourth finger long that extended to the tip of the wing. The wing included this finger and a leathery membrane that attached to the top of the leg. - Some had a head crust which may have acted like a rudder. Pterodactylus Jurassic - wing - Unlike some other pterosaurs, span 5 Pterodactylus had 90 large conical ft. long teeth that were not uniform in size. - These kinds of reptiles were carnivores that ate mostly fish. - Pterodactylus was the first ever to be identified.

Quetzalcoatlus Cretaceous - wing - Scientists debate just how large span 36 this pterosaur was, and believe it to 39 ft. reached the upper limit for flight to long be possible. - Unlike other pterosaurs it did not live near the sea, and probably ate carrion or skimmed the water of ponds for fresh water fish.

Ancient Invertebrates

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: Trilobite - - up to - Lived in marine environments 2 ft. - Many different forms – some long, were predators, others but , and some were filter usually feeders just 1-4 - Closest living relative is likely the inches horseshoe crab

Brachiopod Cambrian – - up to - Live in marine environments today! 8 - Only a handful of survive inches today - today - Unlike modern bivalve shells, the only up top and bottom of the shells do not to 4 both curve outwards, instead they inches are crimped together

Ammonite Triassic - - up to - Live in marine environments Cretaceous 7 ft. in - Some had complicated sutures diamete between the different parts of their r shell for better strength for the shell - Was a predator of smaller sea creatures - Not closely related to the modern Other popular ancient animals

Name: Picture: Period: Size Interesting Facts: Cretaceous - up to - Deinosuchus means “terrible 40 ft. .” long - Today, the has the strongest bite force at approximately 2,500 newtons. Deinosuchus’ bite force is estimated at 18,000 newtons! This was stronger than even T-rex. Miocene - up to - During the Renaissance, 56 ft. Megalodon teeth were thought to long be petrified tongues. - 114 - Megalodon is the largest tons predatory shark to have ever lived and is one of the largest known to have existed.

Woolly Mammoth Pleistocene - up to - Controversy as to why they went 15 ft. extinct – either by , tall or by hunting - Lived on open tundra and in North America, , and Asia - Had longer and curvier tusks, a more sloping back, and a shaggier coat of hair than Mastodons - Teeth are shaped for grinding down grasses and other thin (they had a “grazing” diet) Mastodon Pleistocene - up to - Controversy as to why they went 9 ft. tall extinct, just like the Woolly Mammoth - Lived in wooded areas in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa - Teeth are shaped for eating tough foods like branches with leaves or even pinecones (they had a “” diet) Saber-toothed Cat Pleistocene - up to - Lived in North and (Smilodon) 4 ft. tall - Used powerful arm muscles to - up to wrestle prey to the ground 9 ft. - Used long canine teeth to bite long into the neck of its prey - Canine teeth were up to a foot long, though half of that was the root buried in the