When we hear the word “Dinosaurs”, we might imagine something ancient and large lumbering around the jungle and eating anything in sight. This imagination is much thanks to what is depicted in most dinosaur movies that we might have watched in the past. Some people also refuse to believe that dinosaurs never even existed as there is no living dinosaur existing today. Well, dinosaurs were not made up from some scientist’s imagination! They actually did exist and there are various bone fossils and relics today that prove that, just as there are fossils and relics that prove how long humans have been on earth. Also interestingly, some of us might also imagine dinosaurs as large man-eating dragons that everyone should be scared of (again… thanks to the movies).
Now, to dispel some of these myths, let’s get down to the REAL facts about dinosaurs that you should know.
- Dinosaurs first appeared on the earth about 240 million years ago. They lived and reproduced on earth for about 175 million years before becoming extinct around 66 million years ago.
- The entire generation of dinosaurs were wiped out when a large asteroid (or comet) crashed into the earth at the previously stated time of 66 million years ago. In addition, there were frequent volcanic eruptions which produced choking chemicals, including sporadic temperature and climate changes. A combination of these incidents over a short period of time may have also contributed to their extinction.
- All birds (as we have them today) emerged from dinosaurs – specifically feathered dinosaurs. According to Steve Brusatte in National Geographic, the most important dinosaurs that have been discovered in the last decades are all feathered dinosaurs. These similarities (and more) present some traceable evidence that birds indeed evolved from dinosaurs.
- About 1200 species of dinosaurs have been discovered till date
- Though dinosaurs were the largest animals of all time, but a great majority of them were actually smaller than a turkey.
- Dinosaurs reproduced by laying a clutch 10-20 eggs. However, only few usually make it to baby dinosaurs as most were either eaten by carnivorous dinosaurs and other predators or bio-degraded.