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DINOSAUR FACTS FOR KIDS

Tyrannosaurus-Rex

First up, arguably the best-known dinosaur… the T. rex! Made famous in the film Jurassic Park and as the dinosaur of choice for the loveable character Rex in the Toy Story franchise, the T.rex is considered to be one of the greatest predators that has ever lived.

 

Pronounced – Tuh-ran-uh-saw-ruhs – Meaning King of the Lizards

Length – 12 metres

Weight – 5 tonnes or 5000kg

Diet – Carnivore

Lived – 65 to 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period

 

5 Interesting Facts

 T.rex was not the biggest carivourous dinosaur – Gigantosaurus, Spinosaurus and Spinosaurus were bigger

T.rex could only walk briskly up to 12 miles per hour – so they couldn’t chase a car like in the scene in the Jurassic Park film

T.rex had a life expectancy for about 28 years

T.rex had 60 serrated teeth, each about 8 inches or 20cm long and would throw its prey into the air and swallow it whole!

Scientists think that T.rex even ate each other!

Triceratops

Next up is another well-known dinosaur... the Triceratops! Depicted as kind and loving in the film Jurassic Park, it’s one of the most easily recognisable dinosaurs due to its large body, unique frill and three horns.

Pronounced – Try – serr -uh- tops– Meaning ‘three horned face’ in Latin

Length – 9 metres

Weight – 6-8 tonnes

Diet – Herbivore  

Lived – 65 to 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period

5 Interesting Facts

It had a huge head measuring 3 metres long with three horns, a short one above its mouth and two long ones above each eye

The use of the Triceratops horns is still being debated by scientists. Many believe they were ornamental and only for show, others believe they were used like stags use their antlers, in fights either with other Triceratops or to defend themselves against predators

Triceratops had beak like mouths and powerful jaws lined with rows of sharp teeth to shred and grind low-lying vegetation

Triceratops had between 400-800 teeth, but only used a few of these at a time as they were constantly replaced through their lifetime as the teeth were worm down or broken

One of the most common dinosaurs unearthed by palaeontologists

Velociraptor

Made famous in Jurassic park, it turns out velociraptors are nothing like their on-screen depiction! They were much smaller (around the size of a wolf!) and have been discovered to have feathers.

Pronounced vell-os-eeraptor – Meaning ‘quick plunderer’ in Latin

Length – 1.8m

Weight - 25kg

Diet – Carnivores

Lived 70-74 million years ago

5 Interesting Facts

Velociraptors killed its prey with the curved, sickle shaped claws on its feet

They were likely solo hunters rather than pack animals as portrayed in films

Despite having feathers, Velociraptors couldn’t fly as their arms were too short or the right shape for flight

They were effective hunters with an excellent sense of smell

Velociraptors long legs allowed them to take long strides and reach speeds of around 24 miles per hour

Brontosaurus

This was one of the biggest dinosaurs to ever walk the earth. It was up to a whooping 23 meters long and weighed up to 23,000kgs.

Pronounced bron-tuh-saw-ruhs – Meaning ‘Thunder lizard’ in Greek

Length – 23m

Weight – 23000kg

Diet – Herbivores

Lived 150 million years ago

Lived up to 100 years

5 Interesting Facts

Brontosaurus had large claws on their hands, which scientists believe they used to grasp trees to reach high up foliage or dig scrapes in the ground to make nests and search for water

Brontosaurus had extremely long necks for either: 1. To reach leaves other dinosaurs couldn’t get, 2. To sweep their necks over a large area of lower ground without much effort or 3. To attract mates and ward of competition

Their necks were triangle shaped, to protect their windpipe and major blood vessels

Initially scientists thought that Brontosaurus lived in water, but the structure of the backbone and feet showed that it could support its weight on land

Diplodocus belongs to the same family as Brontosaurus but was a more slender, thinner animal

Ankylosaurus

This is a very distinct dinosaur, the Ankylosaurus was one of the largest armoured dinosaurs with its wide heavily armoured skull and large tail club.

Pronounced an-kie-loh-sore-us – Meaning ‘fused lizard’ in Greek

Length – 7m

Weight – 4000 kg

Diet – Herbivores

Lived 67-74 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period

5 Interesting Facts

It was called a fused lizard, because bones in its skull and other parts of its body were fused

The top of the Ankylosaurus was almost completely covered with thick armour made of knobs and oval plates of bone, which are also common on crocodiles, armadillos and some lizards

As well as the armour the Ankylosaurus had two rows of spikes along its body

Ankylosaurus was difficult for predators to kill because it had a rotund body

This dinosaur’s skull was wider than it was long and had a narrow break at the end to help it strip leaves from plants

Stegosaurus

A large, slow moving plant-eater with a powerful spiked tail, which inspired the appearance of Godzilla!

Pronounced steg-oh-sore-us– Meaning ‘Roof lizard’ in Greek

Length – 9m

Weight – 5 tonnes

Diet – Herbivores

Lived 145 - 155 million years ago during the late Jurassic period

5 Interesting Facts

Stegosaurus had bony plates along its back which were embedded in its skin and not attached to its skeleton

Stegosaurus had a very small skull and brain for its size – about the size of a dog’s brain

Its forelimbs were much shorter than the hind limbs, which gave the back a characteristically arched look

A close relation to ankylosaurus

The spikes on its tail reached around 60-90cm wide

Pterodactyl

Probably the most famous flying dinosaur- although scientists say its’ a reptile.

Pronounced terr-uh-dak-tuhl– Meaning ‘Wing lizard’ in Greek

Length – 1 m

Weight – 0.5 – 4.5kg

Diet – Carnivores

Lived 163.5 - 66 million years ago, from the late Jurassic through to the late Cretaceous periods

Life Span between 2 to 10 years

5 Interesting Facts

Pterodactyls had an average wingspan of 1.3 metres

Their diet consisted of fish and small animals

Pterodactyls had an elongated beak with about 90 razor sharp teeth

It walked on 4 legs and not 2

A young Pterodactyl is called a flapling