Dinosaurs1

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Dinosaurs


Millions of years ago, long before there were any people, there were dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were one of several kinds of prehistoric reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era, the "Age of Reptiles."

Dinosaurs evolved from other reptiles (socket-toothed archosaurs) during the Triassic period, over 230 million years ago. Dinosaurs evolved soon after the Permian extinction, which was the biggest mass extinction that ever occured on Earth. During this time (the Triassic period), the mammals also evolved.
The dinosaurs dominated the Earth for over 165 million years during the Mesozoic Era, but mysteriously went extinct 65 million years ago. Paleontologists study their fossil remains to learn about the amazing prehistoric world of dinosaurs.

The largest dinosaurs were over 100 feet (30 m) long and up to 50 feet (15 m) tall (like Argentinosaurus, Seismosaurus, Ultrasauros, Brachiosaurus, and Supersaurus). The smallest dinosaurs, like Compsognathus, were about the size of a chicken. Most dinosaurs were in-between.
There were lots of different kinds of dinosaurs that lived at different times.
Some walked on two legs (they were bipedal), some walked on four (they were quadrupedal). Some could do both.
Some were speedy (like Velociraptor), and some were slow and lumbering (like Ankylosaurus).
Some were armor-plated, some had horns, crests, spikes, or frills.
Some had thick, bumpy skin, and some even had primitive feathers.

The Earliest Dinosaurs:
The first dinosaurs were small and lightly built, mostly about 10-15 feet long (3 to 4.5 m). They were bipedal carnivores or omnivores, and probably very agile and fast.
The world_s oldest-known dinosaurs have been found on Madagascar, an island off the coast of SE Africa. These dinosaur fossils date from about 230 million years ago during the Triassic period.
Until recently, the earliest-known dinosaur was Eoraptor lunensis (meaning "dawn...