Triassic  252~201 MYA

 The Triassic period was the hottest time in dinosaurs’ history. The dry, desert landscape was bare, except for the plants growing by riverbanks. Small dinosaurs and tiny mammals began to appear on the Earth for the first time. During this time, the supercontinent of Pangaea began to break apart.

Dinosaurs:

 

  • Coelophysis
    • When: 225 MYA
    • Location: North America and South Africa
    • Length: 3m
    • Weight: 20kg
    • Diet: Carnivorous

Coelophysis was a small, nimble, birdlike carnivore that darted after its prey in riverside forests. Its hollow bones and slender frame were built for speed.

* Fun fact: Coelophysis hunted in packs to get an advantage over large prey.

    • Plateosaurus
      • When: 210 MYA
      • Location: North and Central Europe
      • Length: 7m
      • Weight: 4,000kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Plateosaurus was one of the first dinosaurs to be formally named and described. It is known for its 4-fingered hands that were used for grasping things.

* Fun fact: Plateosaurus had an extra-strong thumb claw, which may have been used as a defensive weapon.

    • Eoraptor
      • When: 228 MYA
      • Location: South America
      • Length: 1m
      • Weight: 10kg
      • Diet: Omnivorous

Eoraptor had different teeth to eat a variety of foods. It may have lived off mosses, but it ate a mostly meat diet. Its name means “dawn thief” in recognition of its place at the dawn of the dinosaur era.

* Fun fact: Eoraptor had 5 fingers in each hand, but two of them were short and useless.


Jurassic 201~145 MYA

The Jurassic period saw changing seasons. A combination of high temperature and rainfall caused flourished forests. The tall trees and widespread plants provided sufficient foods for huge plant-eating dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs:

    • Stegosaurus
      • When: 150 MYA
      • Location: South America
      • Length: 9m
      • Weight: 3000kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Stegosaurus had the rows of big, diamond-shaped bony plates that ran along its back, helping it to control the body temperature or warn off attackers. It also had long spikes at the end of their tail to defend itself.

* Fun fact: Stegosaurus had one of the smallest brains of any dinosaurs.

    • Allosaurus
      • When: 155 MYA
      • Location: Africa, Australia, Europe, North America
      • Length: 12m
      • Weight: 2000 kg
      • Diet: Carnivorous

With knifelike teeth and strong, sharp claws, Allosaurus was a fierce hunter of the Jurassic age. It preyed on the stegosaurus and the young of giant plant-eaters.

* Fun fact: Allosaurus can open its jaws amazingly wide to attack its prey.

              

    • Brachiosaurus
      • When: 156 MYA
      • Location: South America
      • Length: 25m
      • Weight: 80000 kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Brachiosaurus had very long front legs and a ridge along the top of its head. It weighed as much as 12 Africa elephants. This dinosaur’s long neck helped it to feed at an incredible height of 15m.

* Fun fact: Brachiosaurus ate 200 kg of leaves and twigs per day.

          

    • Apatosaurus
      • When: 150 MYA
      • Location: North America
      • Length: 23m
      • Weight: 35000 kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Apatosaurus had chisel-like teeth that could quickly remove the leaves from branches, but it didn’t chew up with its teeth. They swallowed stones to grind up plant material in their stomachs.

* Fun fact: An Apatosaurus egg was around the size of a basketball. It was a tiny compared full-grown animal, which means the dinosaurs grew very fast.

 


Cretaceous 145~66 MYA

The final age of dinosaurs was the Cretaceous period bringing a drop in temperature. The warm and wet weather produced rain forest and the first flower bloomed. Plant-eating dinosaurs developed body armor to protect themselves.

Dinosaurs:

    • Tyrannosaurus rex
      • When: 150 MYA
      • Location: North America
      • Length: 12m
      • Weight: 6000 kg
      • Diet: Carnivorous

Tyrannosaurus rex was the deadliest of all meat-eating dinosaurs with strong teeth and incredibly powerful jaws, which allowed it to eat any animal. Its name means “king of the lizards.”

* Fun fact: The largest, best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil in the world, nicknamed ”Sue,” can be seen at the Field Museum in Chicago.

    • Ankylosaurus
      • When: 70 MYA
      • Location: North America
      • Length: 10m
      • Weight: 4000 kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Ankylosaurus was protected from head to tail with bony plates and spikes, that acted like armor. Ankylosaurus also had a huge tail with a bony club that could be swung on attackers.

* Fun fact: Even the eyelids of Ankylosaurus were covered in small bony plant

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    • Pachycephalosaurus
      • When: 65 MYA
      • Location: North America
      • Length: 5m
      • Weight: 500 kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Pachycephalosaurus had a dome skull that was at least 20 times thicker than regular dinosaur skull. It allowed rival males to fight for status and territory by ramming their heads together.

* Fun fact: The dome brain case was fringed with bony spikes. It looks like a crown.

    • Triceratops
      • When: 65MYA
      • Location: North America
      • Length: 9m
      • Weight: 6000kg
      • Diet: Herbivorous

Triceratops was famous for its spectacular horns and neck frills. The brow horns were up to 1.3 m long. They had sharp tips and a strong, bony core. The elaborate frill has been used as a shield from predators.

* Fun fact: The skulls of Triceratops is one of the biggest known among fossilized dinosaur skulls, at up 2.4m long.

    • Spinosaurus
      • When: 112MYA
      • Location: North America
      • Length: 18m
      • Weight: 21,000kg
      • Diet: Carnivorous

Longer and probably heavier than the mighty Tyrannosaurus, Spinosaurus may have been the largest land predator ever know. The mystery around Spinosaurus, since very few fossils that have been found, suggest that this giant dinosaur had a sail-like structure on its back.

* Fun fact: Most of the best fossil of Spinosaurus were destroyed in a bombing raid during the World War II.