On Thursday, June 12, the planet's biggest sporting event--the 2014 World Cup--kicks off in Brazil. But have you ever wondered what this competition would be like if dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, not people, contested the outcome? Our Dinosaur World Cup features match previews, post-game analysis, and reader commentary. Join the fun now and stay tuned for future updates!
Illustration: Martin Davey
Thanks largely to its famous Solnhofen fossil beds, Germany is known far and wide for its Mesozoic assortment of dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Here's a list of the most famous dinosaurs and prehistoric animals ever to be discovered in this country.
Illustration of Liliensternus: Nobu Tamura
Although many people think the issue has been settled once and for all, scientists still debate whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded (or something in between). Here's a look at the evidence for and against warm-blooded dinosaurs.
Illustration of Giganotosaurus: Dmitry Bogdanov
Like many nations in Europe, France has yielded more than its fair share of fossils from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras. Here's a list of the most notable dinosaurs and prehistoric animals ever to be discovered in this country.
Illustration of Arcovenator: Nobu Tamura
Are you tired of unambitious dinosaur ABC books that lazily name-drop the most obvious candidates--Archaeopteryx, Brachiosaurus, etc.? Well, our online Dinosaur ABC will dazzle you with some lesser-known beasts from the dinosaur bestiary, ranging from A (Anatotitan) to Z (Zupaysaurus). You can read all 26 entries, sequentially, starting here.
Illustration of Spinops, the "S" of the Dinosaur ABC: Dmitry Bogdanov
For much of the 20th and 21st centuries, Spain has been a hotbed of fossil excavation. Here's a list of the most important dinosaurs and prehistoric animals that have been discovered in this country.
Illustration of Demandasaurus: Nobu Tamura
There's been a "news story" floating around the Web lately to the effect that scientists in England have managed to clone a baby Apatosaurus. (A sharp-eyed reader may note that the accompanying photograph is of a baby kangaroo, not a newborn sauropod, but let's not quibble.) Hoaxes aside, how close are we, really, to cloning a living, breathing dinosaur?
Illustration of Apatosaurus: Wikimedia Commons
Some dinosaurs were especially dangerous, sporting huge teeth, sharp claws, and (occasionally) even the ability to outwit their prey. Here's a definitive list of the 10 deadliest dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and marine reptiles of the Mesozoic Era.
Photograph of Utahraptor's hind foot: Wikimedia Commons
What were the most important dinosaurs of North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica? Here's a handy list of the top 10 dinosaurs by continent, ranging from the North American Stegosaurus to the African Spinosaurus to the Australian Muttaburrasaurus.
Photograph of Compsognathus: Wikimedia Commons
At the end of the Permian period, about 250 million years ago, the world witnessed a mass extinction that made the K/T meteorite impact look like a damp firecracker. Here's everything you need to know about the Permian/Triassic Extinction Event, also known as the "Great Dying."
Illustration of Diplocaulus: Nobu Tamura