Dinosaurs | Dinosauria

Dinosaurs are a diverse group of prehistoric reptiles that were the dominant terrestrial animals of the Late Triassic (251.9-201.3 Mya), Jurassic (201.3-145 Mya), and Cretaceous (145-66 Mya) periods. Discovered and studied since the 19th century, dinosaur fossils found around the world have been used by paleontologists to identify over 1,000 different species of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are commonly categorized by distinctive traits ranging from variations of bipedal (2 legs) or quadrupedal (4 legs), body armor or feathers, herbivorous or carnivorous, and quick or slow movement speeds. Though dinosaurs mysteriously disappeared 65 million years ago, their legacy continues to be popularized in museums, books, films and television.

When did dinosaurs live?

Dinosaurs lived in the Mesozoic Era which took place between 245 and 66 million years ago. The Mesozoic Era is divided into 3 time periods: Triassic (252 to 201 million years ago), Jurassic (201 to 145 million years ago), and Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago).

Why were dinosaurs so big?

Paleontologist believe dinosaurs grew so big in order to gain protection from predators, help regulate internal body temperature, and to allow them to reach their source of food. Today, whales are the only animal who are close to the size of dinosaurs.

Where did dinosaurs live?

Dinosaur fossils have been found on every continent, proving that they lived in every environment of the world. During the Triassic period the continents were one supercontinent called Pangea. The continents slowly spread across the world into the arrangement that they are at today.

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Plesiosaurus

The Plesiosaurus had a body length of 46' (14 m) and a typical height of 11.5' (3.5 m).

Illustration comparing a Plesiosaurus to a human diver with dimensions drawn for overall height and length

The Plesiosaurus had a body length of 46' (14 m) and a typical height of 11.5' (3.5 m).

Illustration comparing a Plesiosaurus to a human diver with dimensions drawn for overall height and length
Plesiosaurus
Height:
11.5' | 3.5 m
Width:
Length:
46' | 14 m
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Plesiosauria
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Stegosaurus
Size comparison drawing with dimensions of a Stegosaurus and an average human

Stegosaurus was a Late Jurassic (155-150 Mya) herbivorous quadrupedal dinosaur known for its array of upright plates on its back and strong spiked tail. Heavily built with short limbs, a small head, and large body, Stegosaurus was a defensive dinosaur that likely foraged for twigs and low hanging fruits.

Stegosaurus had a body length of 30’ (9.1 m), a height of 14’ | 4.3 m, and a width of 6' (1.8 m). Stegosaurus typically weighed between 11,700-15,400 lb (5.3-7 metric tons).

Drawing collection illustrating the front, back, side, and plan profiles of a Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus was a Late Jurassic herbivorous quadrupedal dinosaur known for its array of upright plates on its back and spiked tail.

Stegosaurus had a body length of 30’ (9.1 m), a height of 14’ | 4.3 m, and a width of 6' (1.8 m). Stegosaurus typically weighed between 11,700-15,400 lb (5.3-7 metric tons).

Drawing collection illustrating the front, back, side, and plan profiles of a Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus
Height:
14’ | 4.3 m
Width:
6’ | 1.8 m
Length:
30’ | 9.1 m
Depth:
Weight:
11,700-15,400 lb | 5.3-7 metric tons
Area:

Period: Late Jurassic (155-150 million years ago)

Scientific Name
Stegosaurus

Drawings include:
Stegosaurus side elevation, front, back, plan

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Spinosaurus
Comparison drawing of a Spinosaurus and a human with dimensions for height and length

Spinosaurus was a large carnivorous Cretaceous period (112-93.5 Mya) dinosaur characterized by its large thin back spikes. A giant predator on both land and water, similar to the present day crocodile, fossils prove that the Spinosaurus was as larger or larger than the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Spinosaurus had a length of 49’-51’ (15-15.6 m), a head height of 16.5’ (5 m), an overall spine height of 21.5’ (6.5 m), and a width of 5.7' (1.7 m). Spinosaurus weighed 14,100-15,900 lb (6.4-7.2 metric tons).

Collection of drawings of a Spinosaurus from the front, back, side and plan views
Spinosaurus was a large carnivorous Cretaceous period dinosaur characterized by its large thin back spikes.

Spinosaurus had a length of 49’-51’ (15-15.6 m), a head height of 16.5’ (5 m), an overall spine height of 21.5’ (6.5 m), and a width of 5.7' (1.7 m). Spinosaurus weighed 14,100-15,900 lb (6.4-7.2 metric tons).

Collection of drawings of a Spinosaurus from the front, back, side and plan views
Spinosaurus
Height:
21.5’ | 6.5 m
Width:
5.7’ | 1.7 m
Length:
49’-51’ | 15-15.6 m
Depth:
Weight:
14,100-15,900 lb | 6.4-7.2 metric tons
Area:

Height (Head): 16.5’ | 5 m

Period: Cretaceous (112-93.5 million years ago)
Scientific Name: Spinosaurus

Scientific Name

Drawings include:
Spinosaurus side elevation, front, back, plan

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Triceratops
Illustration comparing the size of a Triceratops to a human with dimensions for height and length

Triceratops were three-horned herbivorous dinosaurs that roamed western North America in the late Cretaceous period (68-66 Mya). Combined with a shield-like head plate, the horns of the Triceratops were likely used to protect them from predators and may have also been used for mating rituals.

The Triceratops had a length between 26’-29.5’ (7.9-9 m), stood at a height of 9.5’-10’ (2.9-3 m), and had a width of 6.7' (2 m). A typical Triceratops weighed between 13,500-26,500 lb (6.1-12 metric tons).

Drawings of a Triceratops from the side, front, back, and aerial views
Triceratops were three-horned herbivorous dinosaurs that roamed during the late Cretaceous period (68-66 Mya). Combined with head plate, the horns of the Triceratops were used to protect them from predators.

The Triceratops had a length between 26’-29.5’ (7.9-9 m), stood at a height of 9.5’-10’ (2.9-3 m), and had a width of 6.7' (2 m). A typical Triceratops weighed between 13,500-26,500 lb (6.1-12 metric tons).

Drawings of a Triceratops from the side, front, back, and aerial views
Triceratops
Height:
9.5’-10.0’ | 2.9-3 m
Width:
6.7’ | 2 m
Length:
26’-29.5’ | 7.9-9 m
Depth:
Weight:
13,500-26,500 lb | 6.1-12 metric tons
Area:

Period: Late Cretaceous (68-66 million years ago)

Scientific Name
Triceratops

Drawings include:
Triceratops side elevation, front, back, plan

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Velociraptor | Utahraptor

The Velociraptor had an overall length of 13' (3.96 m) and stood roughly 5'6" (1.67 m) tall.

Comparison drawing of the scale of a Velociraptor to a human showing dimensions of length and height

The Velociraptor had an overall length of 13' (3.96 m) and stood roughly 5'6" (1.67 m) tall.

Comparison drawing of the scale of a Velociraptor to a human showing dimensions of length and height
Velociraptor | Utahraptor
Height:
5'6" | 1.67 m
Width:
Length:
13' | 3.96 m
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
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