How did dinosaurs become extinct?
Let’s understand how dinosaurs came into existence and how they became extinct. Along the way find out why we find their fossils all over the earth's surface and much more!
Most of us would be well aware that Dinosaurs were present on the Earth’s surface millions of years ago!
Do you think that humans were present too during that period??
No, there were no human beings around. You would have also heard many times that the Dinosaurs roamed the entire earth. Do you know how they did that?
Well, the 7 continents that we see today separated by the water bodies, were one large piece of land called the Pangea! Back then there were no water bodies present to separate the continents. Therefore they were able to travel freely from one part of the earth's surface to the other.
What is proof or evidence that the Dinosaurs ever existed?
So 3 centuries ago , during the 1800’s, Mary Anning first discovered a 5.2-meter long skeleton which was believed to be of a monstrous creature. Later, Sir Richard Owen, a Botanist, unearthed more of the fossilized bones and did not have a name for it. So he named it after a Greek word which means “Terrible Lizard” Can you guess what that Greek word is?
The word is Dinosaur! But do not start thinking that Dinosaurs are a species of lizards! , they are not, they are Reptiles. Since the first discovery of the bones of the dinosaur, the word paleontology was coined and people who study it are called paleontologists.
Paleontologists collect all the bones and try to put them together like you put a Jigsaw puzzle and when they have finished, they have a complete dinosaur without the Skin!
Did you know that the world's largest Tyrannosaurus bones are assembled and put on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA!
Isn't Tyrannosaurus a bit of a complicated name?
Have you ever wondered how these names are given to them?
Most of the time, the person who discovers the dinosaur fossil gets to name it!
As we know, Tyrannosaurus becomes a scientific name like how humans have the scientific name as Homo Sapiens.
So it has a nickname as “Sue” named after the paleontologist Sue Hendrickson who discovered the fossils of Tyrannosaurus!
Isn't that cool?
Imagine a Dino being named after you! Wouldn't that be cool??
How and when did the Dinosaurs start?
The dinosaurs that we know of today are huge and scary! Do you think that they were these huge creatures from the beginning?
No, they weren't the very first true dinosaur that is believed to exist that was as small as the turkey!
The Dinosaur Age is divided into 3 periods
The Triassic Period which is over 230 million years ago
The Jurassic Period which is over 135 million years ago and the
The Cretaceous period is over 65 million years ago!
Phew! These are some numbers that we have got here! aren't they?
So Eoraptor is believed to be the first true dinosaur that existed during the Triassic period and he was as small as a puny!
Over the years the dinosaurs adapted themselves, evolved due to the weather changes in the earth's atmosphere, and along with them many new species began to develop and come into existence.
Did you know? The first mammal Morgancodon came into existence almost 30 million years after the first Dinosaurs! And humans much later!
In the Jurassic period, we have Dinosaurs such as Sauropods, Diplodocus, Allosaurus, and many more!
In the Cretaceous period, we see the greatest species of dinosaurs that we know today, Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus “The King of the Dinosaurs”, Velociraptor, and many more but during this age, we also see the decline or extinction of the Dinosaurs.
How did the Dinosaurs go Extinct?
Do you guys remember we came across the word Pangea, so during the Triassic period itself few changes had begun to happen on the Earth's surface!
And 50 million years ago it’s believed that something huge happened, something so huge that killed most of the species on the earth!
Can you guess what it was??
Some scientists believe it was because these huge meteors or asteroids hit the earth in the Gulf of Mexico and this massive collision created a cloud of dust that covered the earth's atmosphere, changing the climate of the earth which resulted in the death of many species and them becoming extinct!
After the extinction of the Dinosaurs, many new different kinds of animals began to develop and evolve. Paleontologists believe that modern birds may be distantly related to the Dinosaurs because their bone structure is very similar!
Isn't this interesting ??
That some of the Dinosaurs were tall as trees like the Brachiosaurus
And some as small as the cats, there are over 900 species of dinosaurs that have been discovered and many more that are unknown yet!
To learn more interesting facts related to a specific Dinosaur species like Tyrannosaurus or Triceratops or Brachiosaurus, and maybe even play with them on your devices, you may check out Playautoma’s Dino Explorer! A fun Augmented Reality game!