I visited a Museum and for the first time in my life saw the Dinosaur fossils :) For all those people who have watched the Jurassic park series of movies, Dinos are not new.. I remember watching the first movie sitting in the front-most row and could not sleep the whole night since they haunted me in my dreams.. hehe.. It was my dream to see their fossils.. Unless you stand next to them, you will not realize how huge they were.. I stood next to their fossils and imagined how scary they might have looked if those bones had flesh and muscles in them.. I turned into an archeologist and was lost in the Museum when my dad shouted at me to look at the time Wonder why I get so much involved in EVERYTHING (irrespective of what it is).. But now I know the different kinds of Dinos that existed and their relative sizes.. These were the various sections that we visited and some information that I happened to collect from the Museum… I have tried to put them in layman terms:
1. Coelurosaurs :
Ornithommids – are bird-mimic Dinosaurs which have long legs, long necks, big brains and large eyes.
- Deinocheirus – beak like
- Harpymimus – 6 or fewer teeth (beak like)
- Gallimimus – no teeth (beak like)
- Struthiomimus – no teeth (beak like)
Maniraptors – had advanced wrist joint which is formed by a large pulley-shaped wrist bone. They had the largest brains, relative to their size, of any dinosaur group.. Raptors were seen in all the Jurassic Park parts.. As shown in the movies, they were probably comparatively intelligent, agile and alert predators.. Remember the scene where they follow the kids in the Kitchen?
- Troodontids (e.g saurornithoides) – enlarged second toe with an oversized claw
- Dromaeosaur (e.g velociraptor) – enlarged second toe with an oversized claw
- Avialae (feathered and winged)
2. Carnosaurs :
These were aggressive and ferocious animals with huge claws and walked on their hind legs. They just had 2 fingers on the hand and a very large skull..
- Tyrannosaurs section had Tyrannosaurus rex which was largest and the most fearsome carnivore of all time. Rex appears first in Jurassic Park I in the rain scene when their cars stop moving and seeing the fossil of its head itself brought shivers..
Albertosaurus libratus was a close relative of tyrannosaurus rex but lived 5 to 10 million yrs before rex did.
Dilong had feathers.
3. Sauropodomorphs :
They were giant, long-necked, herbivorous dinosaurs and the largest animals ever to walk on land. E.g: Plateosaurus trossingensis
- Prosauropods and Sauropods
- Theropods – 3-toed foot evolved in the common ancestor of Theropods.
These are Duckbill dinosaurs and their relatives which had long extension of pubis. They had uneven covering of enamel on teeth. In these Dinosaurs, the jaw hinge is below the tooth row causing all the teeth to come together at about the same time in a “clamping” action..The crest functioned as an air reserve, enabling duckbills to stay underwater while feeding.. But it is unlikely that the crest could hold enough air for this purpose. Alternatively, the crest could have functioned as a resonating chamber, to produce low-frequency calls for long distance communication.. This, however, would have depended on the proper placement of soft tissues in the crest, which arent preserved in the fossils..
- Corythosaurus casuarius
- Marginocephalians – Horned dinosaurs and Dome-headed dinosaurs
- Anatotitan copei – one of the largest hadrosaur
- Lambeosaurus lambei
- Kritosaurus navajovius – flat headed hadrosaur
- Prosaurolophus maximus – flat headed hadrosaur
- Iguanodon bernissartensis
They are bony headed dinosaurs and are another group of plant-eating ornithischians.. They have strong bony skull caps.. They probably moved mainly on their long hind limbs, with the body held horizontally.. They also had large frill, maybe served as an attachment site for more powerful muscles, which presumably would have resulted in a stronger chewing action…These animals may have lived in large social herds because of the discovery of mass-death localities..
- Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis (30 feet long) – the largest bone-headed dinosaurs ever found
- Stegoceras validus (6.5 feet long)
- Protoceratops andrewsi
- Psittacosaurus mongoliensis
- Triceratops horridus – there is still a confusion as to whether these animals were lizard-like or rhino-like ?
- Centrosaurus apertus – had a large horn over its nose, small horns over the eyes, and a relatively short frill
- Styracosaurus albertensis – had a number of large spikes around the edge of the frill, and a long nose horn
- Pentaceratops sternbergii
- Chasmosaurus kaiseno and chasmosaurus belli
- Centrosaurus apertus
- Stegosaurus – armoured dinosaur
Now the biggest question is – How did these dinosaurs disappear from Earth’s surface all of a sudden? Some say it was because of a meteor (presence of huge amounts of nanodiamonds found – nanodiamonds are not found on Earth’s surface..they must have come from outer space), some say it was because of the drastic changes in the climate.. But this is still an unresolved question.. Nova had a beautiful episode on this and after watching that episode, I started getting more interested in Dinosaurs.. It said that the Dinosaur fossils were found even in Artic (near north pole) which confirms that they could live in very harsh weathers and not just in temperate climate.. This complicates the simple assumption about their extinction..There was another episode on the extinction of Ice age animals like Mammoth which is again another big question.. Some people may say “how does it matter how they became extinct?”.. It is important to know because some day even human race may become extinct..
I found a very nice website while googling :
I just made note of every dinosaur that I could see in that Museum.. I bought a nice book on Dinos and have to go through the book now to gain more information on these animals..
P.S: Should I change my profession and become an archeologist instead of hitting keyboards? I am still thinking.. Isnt their life much more interesting?