Dinosaurs: Most Popular Articles
Megalodon was the biggest prehistoric shark that ever lived. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this enormous predator.
How heavy was Argentinosaurus? What was the wingspan of Quetzalcoatlus? Read this list of the 10 biggest dinosaurs (as well as non-dinosaur reptiles like pterosaurs, pliosaurs and therapsids) to find out.
How many types of dinosaurs were there? Here's a list of the 15 most important dinosaur types, ranging from ankylosaurs to tyrannosaurs, complete with links to additional information.
A complete, alphabetical list of every dinosaur that ever lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Not all dinosaurs were equally deadly--some were built for exceptional mayhem, sporting huge teeth, sharp claws, and (occasionally) even the ability to outwit their prey. Here's a list of the 10 fiercest, deadliest, and just plain most dangerous dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and marine reptiles. If you see one of these guys on the street--run!
Next to Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor is the world's most famous meat-eating dinosaur. Here are 10 facts about this Cretaceous carnivore that you may (or may not) have gleaned from repeated viewings of Jurassic Park.
The last 10,000 years have witnessed the extinction of a large number of lions, tigers and cheetahs, with many species surviving well into the 19th or early 20th centuries. Here are the 10 most notable big cats that have gone extinct in historical times.
What does it mean to say that a dinosaur lived in the Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous period? Here's a description of these three stretches of the Mesozoic Era, and the prehistoric plants and animals that set them apart.
It wasn't technically a tiger, but the Saber Tooth Tiger (aka Smilodon) was one of the most fearsome predators of the Pleistocene epoch. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this big-toothed beast.
Did you know that the average Tyrannosaurus Rex lived to be about 30 years old? Or that T. Rex babies may have been covered in feathers? Here are 10 essential facts about the king of the dinosaurs.
Everything You Need to Know About Pterodactylus and Pteranodon
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Of all the reptiles
Why did the T. Rex cross the road? How can you tell when there's a Stegosaurus in your refrigerator? Read this collection of dinosaur jokes and riddles to find out!
A list of 100 animals that have gone extinct in historical times, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and invertebrates.
Leviathan was a 50-foot-long, 50-ton sperm whale that prowled the waters of Miocene South America. Megalodon was a comparably sized prehistoric shark that occasionally ventured into Leviathan's territory. Who wins in a battle between these two undersea titans?
The Dodo Bird disappeared so quickly from the island of Mauritius, in the 17th century, that it has become the poster creature for sudden extinction. But what do we really know about this squat, flightless pigeon relative?
As relentless a killing machine as T. Rex was, this dinosaur was still equipped with tiny, almost vestigial arms and hands. Why?
Did you know that most dinosaurs were vegetarians? Or that dinosaurs lived alongside the earliest mammals? Here are 10 important dinosaur facts that every person should know.
Among the most feared dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era, raptors were closely related to modern birds. Here's a look at how paleontologists classify raptors, as well as profiles of famous genera ranging from Achillobator to Velociraptor.
One of the most fearsome dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period.
The largest canine that ever lived, the Dire Wolf was the scourge of Pleistocene North America. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this fierce predator.
Modern elephants belong to a long and distinguished evolutionary line that dates back 60 million years, to shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Here's what we know about the evolution of elephants, along with profiles of prehistoric genera ranging from Amebelodon to Tetralophodon.
Some dinosaurs have better names than others--mostly because some paleontologists have more imagination than others. Here's a list of the 10 most impressive dinosaur names, ranging from Achillobator to Vulcanodon.
The Tasmanian Tiger wasn't really a tiger, but a dog-like marsupial that went extinct in the 20th century. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this striped predator.
This huge dinosaur had an equally impressive sail on its back.
Sharks are among the oldest and most successful vertebrates on earth; the first species appeared about 420 million years ago and their descendants have survived down to the present day. Here's everything you need to know about the behavior and evolution of prehistoric sharks.
Not all dinosaurs (or archosaurs, or pterosaurs) sported the same plain-vanilla body plans. Some of these creatures stood out even by the bizarre standards of the Mesozoic Era, with strange adaptations that continue to puzzle paleontologists to the present day. Here's a list of the 10 weirdest reptiles ever to walk (or crawl, or fly) the earth 100 million years ago.
What we don't know about dinosaur mating can fill a library--after all, it's not as if the act of sex leaves fossil evidence. But we can make some educated guesses, based on the size of dinosaurs and their reptilian heritage.
Most people know the end of the story of dog evolution--when wolves were domesticated by early humans. The fact is, though, that prehistoric dogs roamed the plains of North America for tens of millions of years before humans appeared on the scene. Here's everything you need to know about prehistoric dogs and dog evolution.
It's not quite true that mammals succeeded the dinosaurs--they lived right alongside these lumbering beasts, in small, quivering, furry form, all through the Mesozoic Era. Here's a look at the evolution, anatomy and survival strategies of the first mammals of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
It wasn't the biggest Mammuthus species, but the Woolly Mammoth is still the most famous prehistoric elephant of the Pleistocene epoch. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this huge, shaggy pachyderm.
Many people mistakenly believe that oil comes from long-decomposed dinosaurs--and at least one prominent oil company has contributed to this myth by adopting a dinosaur as its trademark. Here's the truth about what dinosaurs do, and don't, have to do with the world's supply of fossil fuels.
Pound for pound, dinosaurs were some of the dumbest creatures ever to roam the planet. However, some may even have attained a mammalian level of intelligence.
A giant killer sperm whale of the Miocene epoch.
Species by species, individual by individual, dinosaurs were bigger than any other land-dwelling animals that ever lived. Here are some theories that just might account for dinosaur gigantism.
Scientists have a pretty good idea why the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago--but that hasn't prevented some popular myths from spreading about how, when, and even whether the dinosaurs went down for the count. Here are the top 10 misconceptions about dinosaur extinction.
Spinosaurus is the largest carnivorous dinosaur yet identified, bigger (and possibly nastier) than either T. Rex or Giganotosaurus. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Spinosaurus.
It was probably the biggest raptor that ever lived.
There were literally hundreds of dinosaurs, but only a handful merit memorization by eager dinosaur lovers, young or old. Here's all the information you need about the 10 most famous dinosaurs that ever lived, ranging from Allosaurus to Tyrannosaurus Rex.
It's impossible to mistake Triceratops for any other dinosaur--but very possible to hold some mistaken notions about this ancient ceratopsian. Here are 10 things you may (or may not) have known about Triceratops.
Not all dinosaurs were as big as houses--some were as small as wiener dogs, or even smaller. Here's a list of the 10 smallest dinosaurs, plus a few bite-sized pterosaurs, marine reptiles and mammals).
During the Mesozoic Era, mammals were tiny, quivering creatures that lived high up in trees--but after the dinosaurs went extinct, these same mammals were free to evolve to giant sizes. Here are the 10 most important giant mammals that succeeded the dinosaurs.
A profile of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the once--and always--king of the dinosaurs.
It may be hard to believe, but the story of whale evolution begins with terrestrial, dog-sized mammals that roamed central Asia about 50 million years ago. Here's what we currently know about whale evolution, along with profiles of the most important whale species.
Titanoboa was the biggest prehistoric snake that ever lived, measuring almost 50 feet from head to tail and weighing over a ton. Here are ten facts you may (or may not) have known about Titanoboa.
Dinosaurs weren’t the first four-legged reptiles to prosper on land. The Carboniferous and Permian periods witnessed a large variety of
The sauropods were the true giants of the dinosaur family, some genera attaining lengths of over 100 feet and weights of over 100 tons. Here's a brief overview of sauropod evolution and behavior, as well as an alphabetical list of genera ranging from Apatosaurus to Vulcanodon.
Possibly the largest plant-eating dinosaur that ever lived.
Tyrannosaurs were the killing machines of the Cretaceous period: these huge, powerful dinosaurs were all legs, trunk and teeth, and they preyed relentlessly on smaller, herbivorous prey. Here’s a look at how paleontologists classify tyrannosaurs, as well as profiles of the most notable genera, ranging from Tyrannosaurus Rex to Guanlong.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Name: Giganotosaurus
By the end of the Cretaceous period, the only sauropods left standing were the titanosaurs--mysterious, armored plant-eaters whose partial skeletons have been unearthed all over the world. Here's a look at how titanosaurs are classified, along with profiles of genera ranging from Aegyptosaurus to Uberabatitan.
This mean-looking pliosaur ruled the Jurassic seas.
This dinosaur was vicious--but a lot smaller than you thought.
Turtles and tortoises branched off from the mainstream of reptile evolution hundreds of millions of years ago, and have persisted down to the present day with the same basic body plan. Here's everything you need to know about the evolution of turtles and tortoises.
Not every fossil discovered in a dried-up lakebed or arid mountain plain has had an equally profound effect on the course of paleontology. Here are 10 famous discoveries that changed, sharpened, or completely altered the views of working scientists (and the general public) about dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Among the most
Among the most plentiful dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era, hadrosaurs were large, low-slung plant eaters with tough beaks on their snouts to dig out vegetation. Here’s a look at how paleontologists classify duck-billed dinosaurs, as well as a list of notable genera ranging from Acristavus to Zhuchengosaurus.
One of the most common predatory dinosaurs of the Jurassic period.
Thanks to its brief (but inaccurate) cameo in Jurassic Park, Dilophosaurus has become one of the world's most popular dinosaurs. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Dilophosaurus.
Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops were two of the most popular dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous period, and they both occupied the same North American territory. Who would win in a battle between a full-grown Triceratops and an adult T. Rex?
The origin of snakes is shrouded in mystery: the first, fragmentary forms appeared about 150 million years ago, but it's unclear whether they evolved from land- or water-dwelling ancestors. Here's everything we know about snake evolution, complete with a list of the most important prehistoric snakes.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The bleached skeleton
The story of horse evolution began with fleet, deer-sized mammals that prowled the woodlands of North America 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Here's a look at the evolution of horses, along with profiles of various prehistoric horse species.
The last 1,000 years have witnessed the extinction of various birds--and some species disappeared off the face of the earth as little as 100 years ago. Here's a list of the 10 most notable birds that have gone extinct in historical times.
The largest pterosaur--and the largest flying animal--that ever lived.
It made a great white shark seem like a guppy by comparison.
It seems that every animal on earth grew to giant sizes two, 20, or even 40 million years ago--witness the Giant Wombat, the Giant Beaver and the Giant Sloth, to name just three. Here's everything you need to know about the giant megafauna, mammalian and otherwise, that prospered after the age of the dinosaurs.
Creationist don't believe in evolution, and they insist that the earth is only a few thousand years old. How do dinosaurs fit in their world view?
Velociraptor gets all the press, but it was another raptor dinosaur, Deinonychus, that really stole the show in Jurassic Park. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Deinonychus.
Ankylosaurs were among the last dinosaurs standing 65 million years ago, and with good reason: these otherwise gentle plant-eaters were the Cretaceous equivalent of Sherman tanks, complete with armor plating, sharp spikes and heavy clubs. Here's a look at how paleontologists classify ankylosaurs, as well as profiles of genera ranging from Acanthopholis to Tianchisaurus.
Giganotosaurus is rapidly gaining on T. Rex as the most popular meat-eating dinosaur. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this terrifying hunter of the middle Cretaceous period.
A giant wolf of the Pleistocene epoch.
The Dire Wolf (Canis dirus) and the Saber-Toothed Tiger (Smilodon fatalis) shared the same North American landscape during the late Pleistocene epoch.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Name: Sarcosuchus
During the Carboniferous period, over 300 million years ago, the first tetrapods evolved features that allowed them to prosper on land as well as in water. For tens of millions of years, these early amphibians were the dominant terrestrial animals on earth, paving the way for the reptiles (and dinosaurs) that eventually followed.
Pictures, illustrations and photographs of Megalodon, the biggest prehistoric shark that ever lived.
Dinosaurs inhabited all seven continents during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Here are lists of the 10 most important dinosaurs of North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.
Some time in the middle to late Triassic period, about 230 million years ago, the first dinosaurs evolved from their archosaur ancestors. Here's everything you need to know about these early templates for dinosaur evolution.
Ever since Jurassic Park, people have wondered if it will one day be possible to clone a living, breathing dinosaur. Trouble is, the scientific challenges are much heftier than you've been led to believe.
This tyrannosaur was a close cousin of T. Rex.
Often considered to be the first true bird, Archaeopteryx was actually something far more complex: a tiny dinosaur with distinctly bird-like characteristics. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Archaeopteryx.
During the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, the earth's oceans, lakes and rivers were filled by large, agile reptiles, the plesiosaurs and pliosaurs, that looked uncannily like sea serpents. Here's an overview of the evolution, behavior and characteristics of these fearsome creatures, along with a list of genera ranging from Aristonectes to Woolungasaurus.
They weren't technically tigers, but saber-toothed cats were every bit as dangerous to the grazing mammals (and early hominids) of their day. Here's a look at saber-tooth evolution and lifestyles, along with profiles of various species.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >There's a lot
Spinosaurus was the largest carnivorous dinosaur that ever lived. Sarcosuchus was the largest crocodile that ever lived. Both of these reptiles lived in middle Jurassic Africa. Who wins in a battle to the death between Spinosaurus and Sarcosuchus?
Pterosaurs were the first creatures (other than insects) to take to the skies. Here's a look at the evolution and behavior of pterosaurs, along with profiles of the most notable pterosaur genera.
Paleontologists once believed that Stegosaurus had a brain its butt, that Brachiosaurus lived underwater, and that you could find Hypsilophodon nesting in trees. Here's a list of the 10 most notable mistakes in the history of paleontology.
One of the biggest raptors ever to walk the earth, Utahraptor terrorized North America during the early Cretaceous period. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Utahraptor.
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 dinos.
One of the biggest prehistoric whales that ever lived.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Part of the reason
This huge museum contains some of the world's most famous dinosaur fossils.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >As little as 50
Pictures, illustrations and photographs of raptor dinosaurs, ranging from Achillobator to Velociraptor.
After long, weary months collecting bones out in the field, cleaning them in the lab with tiny toothpicks, and laboriously piecing them together for display or further study, paleontologists can be forgiven for occasionally bestowing strange names on the objects of their research. Here are the 10 dinosaurs with the weirdest, funniest, and (in one or two cases) most inappropriate names.
It may have been the smartest dinosaur that ever lived.
The shortest arms of any meat-eating dinosaur--and horns to match.
Pictures, illustrations and photographs of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the world's most popular dinosaur.
Quetzalcoatlus was the biggest pterosaur that ever lived; in fact, this airplane-sized reptile was the biggest flying animal in earth's history. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Quetzalcoatlus.
We know all about tyrannosaurs and raptors, but those two families comprised only a small percentage of the bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs known as theropods. Here's a look at the larger theropods of the Mesozoic Era, including allosaurs and abelisaurs, as well as profiles of representative theropod genera.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >There's a new
The biggest (and scariest) shark that ever lived.
A list of 10 snakes, turtles, lizards and crocodiles that have gone extinct in historical times.
Allosaurus was one of the most common, and dangerous, carnivorous dinosaurs of the late Jurassic period. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about this agile predator.
Fish, just like other animals, can be driven to extinction by predation, pollution and changes to their habitats. Here are 10 fish that have gone extinct in historical times.
Are you a fierce tyrannosaur, or a towering sauropod? Would you rather be a small theropod or a horned, frilled plant-eater? Take this quiz to find out what type of dinosaur you are!
The Cretaceous equivalent of a Sherman tank.
Dinosaurs aren't only found in dried-up riverbeds and ancient quarries--fictional versions can also be seen in TV shows, movies, comic strips and video games. Here's a selection of pop culture's most notable dinosaurs, most of which wouldn't stand a fighting chance against their paleontologically correct forebears.
Some people believe the world still harbors living, breathing dinosaurs. Here's a peek into their reasoning, and why they're probably wrong.
Not all books about dinosaurs are created equal. Here's a list of the 10 most informative, and well-written, books about dinosaurs and prehistoric life.
A giant, gentle, long-necked dinosaur.
The first vertebrates on the planet, prehistoric fish lay at the root of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Here's everything you need to know about the evolution (and extinction) of ancestral fish.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Pachycephalosaurs
Some dinosaurs were cuter than others. Here's a list of the 10 most adorable dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era.
The famous three-horned, big-frilled, plant-eating dinosaur.
Yes, its teeth were like sabers, but it wasn't technically a tiger.
It wasn't a dinosaur, despite what most people think.
This fierce raptor was discovered in modern-day Mongolia.
The biggest terrestrial meat-eating mammal that ever lived.
Could Triceratops have beaten Tyrannosaurus Rex in one-on-one combat? How about Allosaurus vs. Stegosaurus, or Megalodon vs. Leviathan? Here are ten battles involving various dinosaurs, reptiles, sharks and prehistoric mammals, with our picks for the likely winners.
Sixty-five million years ago, dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles were wiped off the face of the earth by the K/T Extinction--while their close cousins, the crocodiles, managed to survive this global cataclysm. The question is, why?
Better known as the SuperCroc, this large crocodile makes modern crocs and gators look like tiny geckos by comparison.
What caused the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago? Most scientists blame an astronomical impact.
This Pleistocene predator was one of the world's largest lions.
Often touted as the smartest dinosaur that ever lived, Troodon was a typical theropod of the late Cretaceous period. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Troodon.
400 million years ago, give or take a few million years, a brave fish climbed out of the water and onto dry land, armed with primitive lungs and four stumpy limbs. Here's what we know about the first tetrapods that blazed the trail for the earth's land-dwelling animals.
Bird evolution commenced with the small, feathered theropods of the Jurassic period, and after these dinosaurs went extinct, birds spread to fill every available ecological niche--hunters, flyers, swimmers and more. Here's everything you need to know about the evolution (and extinction) of birds.
The story of vertebrate evolution began over 500 million years ago, with the appearance of tiny, translucent proto-fish in the Cambrian seas, and culminated in the vast variety of birds, mammals and reptiles that inhabit the earth today. Here's an overview of the evolution of vertebrates, touching on creatures both still extant and long extinct.
Apatosaurus is famous for once having been named Brontosaurus--and Brontosaurus is famous because it was one of the first sauropods ever to be discovered. Here are 10 facts you may or may not have known about Apatosaurus.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >Tyrannosaurus Rex , with fairly short arms
Fossilized dinosaur dung, preserved in the form of coprolites, can be a useful tool for paleontologists. Here's the poop about dinosaur poop.
Stegosaurus may be the most famous example, but at least a dozen stegosaur genera lived during the Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods. Here's everything you need to know about these plated, spiked, plant-eating dinosaurs.
The marine reptiles known as mosasaurs were sleek, vicious, and fast, which made them the terrors of the late Cretaceous seas. Here's everything you need to know about these dangerous aquatic predators.
Did all dinosaurs have a brain the size of a walnut, or might some of them have been as smart as very small mammals? Here's a look at modern views of dinosaur intelligence.
Like all living creatures, dinosaurs evolved from preexisting ancestors. Here's an overview of current thinking about dinosaur evolution.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >There's an important
An early stage in the evolution of sauropods.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Name: Pteranodon
One of the biggest lions ever to walk the earth.
Hunting has been a human pastime since the dawn of civilization--and, not surprisingly, the spread of civilization has been accompanied by the extinction of various game animals. Here are 10 deer, elephants, bears and hippos that have gone extinct in historical times.
Tyrannosaurus Rex (or T. Rex, as it's often called) is the most popular dinosaur in the world. Here's everything you need to know about this fearsome dinosaur, complete with links to additional information.
Virtually every day, someone in the world discovers what appears to be a clutch of fossilized dinosaur eggs. Unfortunately, though, the odds that these artifacts were really laid by dinosaurs are extremely slim.
Lists of the most notable dinosaurs and prehistoric animals found in each of the 50 United States.
Although the genus Equus is still going strong, various species (and sub-species) of horses, donkeys and zebras have disappeared during historical times. Here's a list of 10 recently extinct equines.
The largest predator of the early Cretaceous period.
If it weren't for the efforts of thousands of paleontologists, evolutionary biologists and geologists, we wouldn't know nearly as much about dinosaurs as we do today. Here's a list of 10 dinosaur hunters who have contributed more to our knowledge of these ancient reptiles than anyone else in the field.
One of the largest elephants ever to walk the earth.
Did you know that most dinosaur eggs never got the chance to hatch? Or that very few fossilized embryos have been found inside fossilized eggs? Here are 10 surprising facts about dinosaur eggs.
Dinosaurs were not alone in growing to huge sizes.Here's a list of creatures unusually big for their species: cows rats, parrots, beavers...even amoebas!
This shaggy prehistoric elephant was on the lunch menu of early humans.