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Tyrannosaurus Rex

The Dinosaur T. Rex was one of the greatest predators that ever lived. Tyrannosaurus Rex had powerful back legs that let it hunt prey over short distances at up to 20mph (32 kph). They would have charged out of the undergrowth to surprise their prey - and their flexible neck helped them adjust the angle of attack.

Fun Fact

The T. Rex had quite a large brain for a dinosaur. This would have helped it hunt better! Large parts of its brain helped its vision and smell, it may have even had telescopic vision. 18IEven more terrifying was its mouth full of 8 inch (20cm) teeth - long and sharp, like knives.

When did the Tyrannosaurus Rex live?

How big was the Tyrannosaurus Rex?


The Velociraptors were smart dinos with a large brain that helped them be very agile. They could also hunt together in packs! Working together they were fearsome predators. It would have been almost impossible to escape from their attack.

Fun Fact

Velociraptors were scavengers. They had very powerful back legs with long claws that could rip into their prey. These claws were lifted back when they were running. 

When did the Velociraptor live?

How big was the Velociraptor?


This dino had an amazing sail coming out of its back. The sail was made from spike shaped bones, joined together by a layer of skin.  Scientists are not sure what the sail was for. It may have been used to control its body temperature. By turning the sail to the sun it could have warmed its blood faster than other cold-blooded reptiles.

Fun Fact

The Spinosaurus had powerful jaws with straight teeth. Most other meat eating dinosaurs have curved teeth. Scientists thinks this means they would shake their prey to tear off pieces.

When did the Spinosaurus live?

How big was the Spinosaurus?


Brontosaurus was a large, long-necked, quadrupedal animal with a long, whip-like tail, and fore limbs that were slightly shorter than its hind limbs. The largest species, B. excelsus, weighed up to 15 t (17 short tons) and measured up to 22 m (72 ft) long from head to tail

Fun Fact

The name Brontosaurus means “thunder lizard” from Greek. This dinosaur had a single large claw on each fore limb, and the first three toes possessed claws on each foot.

When did the Brontosaurus live?

How big was the Brontosaurus?


The Pterodactyl was a generalist carnivore that probably fed on a variety of invertebrates. Like all pterosaurs, Pterodactylus had wings formed by a skin and muscle membrane stretching from its elongated fourth finger to its hind limbs. It was supported internally by collagen fibers and externally by keratinous ridges.

Fun Fact

Pterodactyls were a relative of the dinosaur - but were not dinosaurs themselves. They were flying lizards. Some of them were:

Anbanguera: 'old devil'. Long sharp toothed jaws.
Pteranodon: 'toothless'. No teeth, but a long crest on its head.
Quetzalcoatlus: It is named after a legendary feathered serpent god of Mexico.
Ornithocheiru: 'bird hand'. Fossil found in England.
Rhamphorhynchus: 'beak snout'. Had short legs and a long bony tail.

When did the Perodactyl live?

How big was the Perodactyl?


Stegosaurs lived about 150 million years ago in the Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous Period. The first fossil was discovered by Professor Othniel Marsh in 1877. The large, bony plates he found on its back reminded him of roof tiles - so the name he gave it means 'roofed lizard'.

Fun Fact

Some of the bony plates of this dinosaur can be very large - over 1 meter (3 feet) high. Scientist are not sure how how the plates lay - or what they were for. Some believe they were for defense, but others that they may have acted as a way of controlling temperature.

When did the Stegosaurus live?

How big was the Stegosaurus?


Ankylosaurus is estimated to have been between 6 and 8 meters (20 and 26 ft) long and to have weighed between 4.8 and 8 metric tons (5.3 and 8.8 short tons). It was quadrupedal, with a broad, robust body. It had a wide, low skull, with two horns pointing backward from the back of the head, and two horns below these that pointed backward and down.

Fun Fact

Ankylosaurus is thought to have been a slow-moving animal, able to make quick movements when necessary. The tail club is thought to have been used in defense against predators

When did the Ankylosaurus live?

How big was the Ankylosaurus?


To defend itself against meat eaters (predators) the Triceratops had two long brow horns. These could grow to be at least 1 meter (3 feet) long. Triceratops would have been able to cause a lot of damage to an attacker! 

Fun Fact

The triceratops also had a third shorter horn at the end of its nose. This gives it its dinosaur name, which means 'three-horned face'.

When did the Triceratops live?

How big was the Triceratops?


To defend itself against meat eaters (predators) it had two long brow horns. These could grow to be at least 1 metre (3 feet) long. Triceratops would have been able to cause a lot of damage to an attacker! 

Fun Fact

The triceratops also had a third shorter horn at the end of its nose. This gives it its dinosaur name, which means 'three-horned face'.

When did the Ichthyosaurus live?

How big was the Ichthyosaurus?


Measuring 10.3 meters (34 ft) long, Elasmosaurus would have had a streamlined body with paddle-like limbs, a short tail, a small head, and an extremely long neck. The neck alone was around 7.1 meters (23 ft) long, and with the largest number of neck vertebrae known, 72.

Fun Fact

The skull would have been slender and triangular, with large, fang-like teeth at the front, and smaller teeth towards the back. It had six teeth in each premaxilla of the upper jaw, and may have had 14 teeth in the maxilla and 19 in the dentary of the lower jaw.

When did the Elasmosaurus live?

How big was the Elasmosaurus?


The Parasaurolophus were herbivores (plant eaters) that used their strong back legs to reach higher branches, they had an unusual tail that was tall but narrow. It is thought these could have been brightly colored and used to attract mates. 

Fun Fact

Scientists think they may have used their crest to make a trumpeting sound that they used to talk to each other.

When did the Parasaurolophus live?

How big was the Parasaurolophus?


Pachycephalosaurus  "thick-headed lizard" from Greek, was a bipedal herbivore with an extremely thick skull roof. It possessed long hindlimbs and small forelimbs. 

Fun Fact

The thick skull domes of Pachycephalosaurus and related genera gave rise to the hypothesis that pachycephalosaurs used their skulls in intra-species combat. This hypothesis has been disputed in recent years.

When did the Pachycephalosaurus live?

How big was the Pachycephalosaurus?


Diplodocus had very powerful back legs! Its body was balanced by a long heavy tail - often used as a weapon against attackers. Their size would also have been a deterrent to predators. They had a very small head compared to the size of its body and would have had a very small brain.

Fun Fact

It is thought to be the longest known dinosaur. The neck could reach over 6m (20ft) and its long tail had 80 vertebrae. It was first thought that the tail dragged along as it walked - but no drag marks have been found beside fossilized footprints.

When did the Diplodocus live?

How big was the Diplodocus?


The Coelophysis was a small, slenderly-built, ground-dwelling, bipedal carnivore, that could grow up to 3 m (9.8 ft) long. It is one of the earliest known dinosaur genera.

Fun Fact

Coelophysis had a long narrow head (approximately 270 mm (0.9 ft)), with large, forward-facing eyes that afforded it stereoscopic vision and as a result excellent depth perception.

When did the Coelophysis live?

How big was the Coelophysis?


The Archaeopteryx could grow to about 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in) in length. Despite their small size, broad wings, and inferred ability to fly or glide, Archaeopteryx had jaws with sharp teeth, three fingers with claws, a long bony tail, hyperextensible second toes ("killing claw"), feathers (which also suggest warm-bloodedness), and various features of the skeleton.

Fun Fact

Archaeopteryx was long considered to be the beginning of the evolutionary tree of birds. The name derives from the ancient Greek archaīos meaning "ancient", and ptéryx, meaning "feather" or "wing".

When did the Archaeopteryx live?

How big was the Archaeopteryx?


The Pinacosaurus body was flat and low-slung but not as heavily built as in some other members of the Ankylosaurinae. A smooth beak bit off low-growing plants that were sliced by rows of small teeth and then swallowed to be processed by the enormous hind gut. Neck, back and tail were protected by an armour of keeled osteoderms. The animal could also actively defend itself by means of a tail club.

Fun Fact

The head was protected by bone tiles, hence its name. Each nostril was formed as a large depression pierced by between three and five smaller holes, the purpose of which is uncertain.

When did the Pinacosaurus live?

How big was the Pinacosaurus?


At about 7 m (23 ft) in length, with a weight of about 400 kg (880 lbs), the Dilophosaurus was one of the earliest large predatory dinosaurs and the largest known land-animal in North America at the time. It was slender and lightly built, and the skull was proportionally large, but delicate. The mandible was slender and delicate at the front, but deep at the back. The teeth were long, curved, thin, and compressed sideways.

Fun Fact

Due to the limited range of movement and shortness of the forelimbs, the mouth may instead have made first contact with prey. The function of the crests is unknown; they were too weak for battle, but may have been used in visual display and species recognition.

When did the Dilophosaurus live?

How big was the Dilophosaurus?


The Carnotaurus was a bipedal predator, measuring 7.5 to 9 m (24.6 to 29.5 ft) in length and weighing at least 1.35 metric tons (1.33 long tons; 1.49 short tons). It had thick horns and it was further characterized by small, vestigial forelimbs and long, slender hind limbs.

Fun Fact

The distinctive horns and the muscular neck may have been used in fighting conspecifics; Rrivaling individuals may have combated each other with quick head blows, by slow pushes with the upper sides of their skulls, or by ramming each other head-on, using their horns as shock absorbers.

When did the Carnotaurus live?

HHow big was the Carnotaurus?