1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Dinosaur Encyclopedia

Everything You Need to Know About the 10 Most Famous Dinosaurs


Paleontologists have named over a thousand dinosaur species, but only a handful of them are instantly recognizable. Here's everything you need to know about the 10 most famous dinosaurs that ever roamed the earth.

1. Tyrannosaurus Rex

tyrannosaurus rex
Wikimedia Commons
The undisputed king of the dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex is immensely popular thanks to a fawning press, countless starring roles in movies and TV shows, and a really cool name (Greek for "tyrant lizard king"). • A Profile of Tyrannosaurus Rex10 Facts About Tyrannosaurus RexHow Was Tyrannosaurus Rex Discovered?Why Did T. Rex Have Such Tiny Arms?Pictures of Tyrannosaurus RexT. Rex vs Triceratops - Who Wins?Tyrannosaurs - The Most Dangerous Dinosaurs


2. Triceratops

Wikimedia Commons
Probably the most instantly recognizable of all dinosaurs, Triceratops combined a gentle, plant-eating disposition with fearsome horns that kept hungry tyrannosaurs and raptors at bay. • A Profile of Triceratops 10 Facts About TriceratopsPictures of TriceratopsHow Was Triceratops Discovered?Triceratops vs. T. Rex - Who Wins?Ceratopsians - The Horned, Frilled Dinosaurs

3. Velociraptor

Alain Beneteau
More than any other dinosaur, Velociraptor can trace its popularity to a single movie: Jurassic Park, in which this feathered raptor was portrayed by the much bigger Deinonychus. • A Profile of Velociraptor10 Facts About VelociraptorPictures of VelociraptorHow Was Velociraptor Discovered?Velociraptor vs. Protoceratops - Who Wins?Raptors - The Birdlike Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period

4. Stegosaurus

Wikimedia Commons
No one knows why Stegosaurus had such distinctive plates along its back--but that hasn't kept this dinosaur from holding a tight grip on the popular imagination. • A Profile of Stegosaurus10 Facts About StegosaurusWhy Did Stegosaurus Have Plates on its Back?Pictures of StegosaurusHow Was Stegosaurus Discovered?Stegosaurus vs. Allosaurus - Who Wins?Stegosaurs - The Spiked, Plated Dinosaurs

5. Spinosaurus

An up-and-comer on the dinosaur popularity charts, Spinosaurus was distinguished by its huge size (almost as big as T. Rex!) as well as the mysterious sail on its back. • A Profile of Spinosaurus10 Facts About SpinosaurusHow Was Spinosaurus Discovered?Pictures of SpinosaurusWhy Did Spinosaurus Have a Sail?Spinosaurus vs. Sarcosuchus - Who Wins?The Large Theropods

6. Archaeopteryx

Emily Willoughby
Was it a bird? Was it a dinosaur? Or was it something in between? Whatever the case, the exquisitely preserved fossils of Archaeopteryx are among the most famous in the world. • A Profile of Archaeopteryx10 Facts About ArchaeopteryxHow Was Archaeopteryx Discovered?Pictures of ArchaeopteryxDino-Birds - The Small, Feathered DinosaursHow Did Feathered Dinosaurs Learn to Fly?

7. Brachiosaurus

Nobu Tamura
Like Dilophosaurus (below) Brachiosaurus owes much of its current popularity to its featured cameo in Jurassic Park, munching placidly on tall trees and sneezing on Ariana Richards. • A Profile of Brachiosaurus10 Facts About BrachiosaurusHow Was Brachiosaurus Discovered?Pictures of BrachiosaurusSauropods - The Biggest Dinosaurs

8. Allosaurus

Wikimedia Commons
Smaller than T. Rex, but faster and more vicious, Allosaurus was the all-purpose predator of the Jurassic period--and may even have hunted its prey in packs. • A Profile of Allosaurus10 Facts About AllosaurusHow Was Allosaurus Discovered?Pictures of AllosaurusAllosaurus vs. Stegosaurus - Who Wins?The Large Theropods

9. Apatosaurus

Wikimedia Commons
Apatosaurus owes its popularity to the fact that it used to be known as Brontosaurus--a name that epitomized dinosaurs for a whole generation of kids. • A Profile of Apatosaurus10 Facts About ApatosaurusHow Was Apatosaurus Discovered?Pictures of ApatosaurusSauropods - The Biggest Dinosaurs

10. Dilophosaurus

H. Kyoht Luterman
Dilophosaurus didn't spit poison, it didn't have a neck frill, and it wasn't the size of a labrador retriever. Despite all that, though, this dinosaur remains pretty popular! • A profile of Dilophosaurus10 Facts about DilophosaurusPictures of DilophosaurusHow Was Dilophosaurus Discovered?The First Dinosaurs
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Dinosaurs
  4. Dinosaur Basics
  5. The Dinosaur Encyclopedia

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.