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10 Dinosaurs Everyone Likes To Read About

By Edited Jul 1, 2016 6 9

Who doesn't like dinosaurs and reading about them? In this 10-topic article I write about some of the most popularized dinosaur species through the various forms of recreational media.

Velociraptor

Velociraptor

Despite the fact that there are known various similar dinosaur species of the smaller carnivores, Velociraptors have been the ones gaining popularism in Cinema and TV, especially thanks to the movie Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg, where they were shown as a constant lethal threat! They had the second toe of each foot bearing an incredibly large and retractable claw, and unlike the movie presentation of the reptiles, Velocirators had feathered bodies and fully developed wings. Velociraptor was similar in appearance to many other species, like the larger Deinonychus and the much larger Utahraptor. These ferocious little guys were found in Mongolia, China and Russia, and presumably hunted in packs.

Velociraptor Scale

Description: Carnivore, Bipedal
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Tetanurae
Micro-order: Maniraptora (of the microorder Coelurosauria)
Family: Dromaeosauridae
Height: 0.5 feet (1.6 meters) 
Length: 6.8 feet (2.07 meters) 
Weight: 33 pounds (15 kg) 
Period: Late Cretaceous

Velociraptor Skeleton

 

 

Brachiosaurus

Brachiosaurus

Brachiosaurus, the long-neck dinosaur, is one of the largest known land animals ever found, based on a complete skeleton that was found in Tanzania. Each neck vertebra was more than 3 feet (1 meter) long! Brachiosaurus is another one popularized in movies and TV, and became a favorite due to it its docile-appearing nature. There has been speculation that Brachiosaurus might have spent time submerged in water. However, more recent studies have shown that an animal as large as Brachiosaurus could not have handled the water pressure against its lungs. A curious fact about Brachiosaurus is that its front legs were longer than its rear legs and it had small narrow feet for its huge size. 

Brachiosaurus Scale

Description: Herbivore, Quadrupedal
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Infraorder: Sauropoda
Family: Brachiosauridae
Height: 50 feet (15.2 meters) 
Length: 85 feet (23 meters)
Weight: 44 tons. It could have been much more for the lack of a complete adult skeleton.
Period: Late Jurassic

Brachiosaurus Skeleton

 

 

Ankylosaurus

Ankylosaurus

Ankylosaurus, the dinosaur best known for his formidable armor and intimidating bone-club tail, that could swing predators back to their places or make them re-think their chances! Ankylosaurus was the last and largest of the ankylosaurids, large herbivorous dinosaurs with tough skins covered with bony plates, and masses of bone at the tip of their tails. This dinosaur is known from fossils found in Montana and Alberta, although a complete skeleton of one is yet to be found. 

Ankylosaurus Scale

Description: Herbivore, Quadrupedal                        
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Thyreophora
Infraorder: Ankylosauria
Family: Ankylosauridae
Height: 5.6 feet (1.7 meters)
Length: 20.5 feet (6.25 meters)
Weight: 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg)
Period: Late Cretaceous

Euoplocephalos Skeleton

 

 

Dilophosaurus

 

Dilophosaurus

 

Dilophosaurus, the double-crested dinosaur. Its name comes from the delicate double crest on its head, an odd-appearing crest that may have served as a secondary sexual characteristic, as it was too delicate for anything else, other than display. The fact that the jaws of Dilophosaurus are not as strong as other theropods of its size is an indication that it may have been a piscivorous, or even a scavenger. The footprints of this animal found in trackways indicate that it traveled in groups. The first fossils were found in the Arizona. 

Dilophosaurus Scale

Description: Carnivore, Bipedal 
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Ceratosauria
Family: Podokesauridae
Height: 8 feet (2.4 meters) 
Length: 23 feet (7 meters) 
Weight: 1,100 to 2,200 pounds (500 to 1,000 kg)
Period: Early Jurassic

Dilophosaurus Skeleton

 

 

Pachycephalosaurus

Pachycephalosaurus
Pachycephalosaurus, the "thick headed lizard", is a rare dinosaur only known from a single skull and a few extremely thick skull roofs found. Pachycephalosaurus has the interesting characteristic of having a very thick dome-like skull, that has generated much debate among scientists during the years. The armored head could have been used in intraspecific combat, as an equivalent of the modern bighorn sheep; or  it could have served as an intimidating tool that served as a last resource for defense. The last and largest of the "bone-heads", Pachycephalosaurus skull fossil was first found in Montana.

Pachycephalosaurus Scale

Description: Herbivore (could have been Omnivorous), Bipedal
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Marginocephalia
Infraorder: Pachycephalosauria
Family: Pachycephalosauridae
Height: 10 feet (3.1 meters)
Length: 15 feet (4.5 meters)
Weight: 990 pounds (450 kg)
Period: Late Cretaceous

Pachycephalosaurus Skeleton

 

 

Seismosaurus

Seismosaurus

Seismosaurus, the longest dinosaur to have ever walked the Earth. Although the more recently discovered Argentinosaurus proved to be the heaviest dinosaur ever found, Seismosaurus still holds the title for the longest one due to the length of his neck and whip-like tail, traits that made it as long as half a football field! Why did these dinosaurs grow so big? The most accepted theories come from Darwinism and the theory of natural selection (or survival of the fittest). The smaller and weaker animals were hunted down by the big predators, thus some species used their size to defend against them, while others could have grown so big in order to reach higher levels of edible plantation. The first skeleton of the Seismosaurus was found in Colorado and more fossil discoveries followed, mainly in the western states of the US. 

Seismosaurus scale

Description: Herbivore, Quadrupedal
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Infraorder: Sauropoda
Family: Titanosauridae
Height: 108 feet (33 meters)
Length: 177 feet (54 meters)
Weight: 113 tons
Period: Late Cretaceous

Seismosaurus Skeleton

 

 

Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus

 So, after talking about the biggest herbivores of all time, which one is the biggest carnivore dinosaur that has ever lived? Spinosaurus, the large spine dinosaur, was first found in Egypt, and may very well be the biggest carnivore of all time since it is the largest of theropods, even larger than Tyrannosaurus. This evaluation is based on the fact that the vertebrae of Spinosaurus were 20% larger than those of Tyrannosaurus. Thought to have eaten fish as well, evidence suggests that Spinosaurus lived both on land and in water, in resemblance to a crocodilian. The huge distinctive sail-like formation on the Spinosaurus spine were long extensions of the vertebrae, and grew to at least 1.65 meters (5.4 ft) long! They were likely covered with skin or fat, and could have served as a means to regulate the temperature of the body, or simply for display. Many functions have been suggested to the the incredible spine of this giant predator. Besides Egypt, more fossils have been found in Morocco. 

Spinosaurus Scale

Description: Carnivore, Bipedal 
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Tetanurae
Micro-order: Carnosauria
Family: Spinosauridae
Height: 14 feet (4.3 meters)
Length: 49 feet (15 meters)
Weight: 14,000 pounds (6,350 kg)
Period: Late Cretaceous

Spinosaurus Skeleton

 

 

 

Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus, the menacing-looking spiked-tail dinosaur, was a large herbivore of distinct and lethal defensive weapons. It is one of my favorite dinosaur species I must confess. The large bony plates that ran along its back could have have served as a means to thermoregulate the body, could have been a defensive mechanism or were simply meant for display and intimidation. The famous tail of this formidable animal was armed with four long spikes at the tip, and the general consensus among scientists is that it was really designed to be a weapon! A swing from this spiked tail could deal fatal wounds to bigger predators that took the risk, like the Allosaurus from its time. The bones of this dinosaur were found in Colorado.

Stegosaurus

Description: Herbivore, Quadrupedal
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Thyreophora
Infraorder: Stegosauria
Family: Stegosauridae
Height: 14 feet (4.3 meters) 
Length: 28 feet (8.5 meters)
Weight: 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg)
Period: Late Jurassic

Stegosaurus Skeleton

 

 

Triceratops

Triceratops

Triceratops, everyone's favorite herbivore, was an authentic meat tank and the largest and heaviest of the ceratopsian. Triceratops shared its time and habitat with its nemesis (Tyrannosaurus) with whom it fought many times, being this fact the possible reason that made this animal develop into such a formidable bulk of muscle and bone. Its massive head had a deep, narrow, parrot-like beak and three distinct horns that could measure up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) long! Its frill could reach widths of 7 feet (2.5 meters) and was presumably used for courtship and dominance displays. Triceratops was found in Montana, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Canada.

Triceratops Scale

Description: Herbivore, Quadrupedal
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Marginocephalia
Infraorder: Ceratopsia
Micro-order: Neoceratopsia
Family: Ceratopsidae
Height: 9.5 feet (2.9 meters)
Length: 26 feet (7.9 meters) 
Weight: 14,000 pounds (6,350 kg). It could have weighted much more depending on the individual.
Period: Late Cretaceous

Triceratops Skeleton

 

 

Tyrannosaurus

Tyrannosaurus

It may have not been the biggest or most notorious dinosaur, but Tyrannosaurus still holds the title as king of the dinosaurs for its intimidating nature and fearsome presence. The Tyrannosaurus Rex was the single dinosaur with the most appearances in movies, and is the carnivore of choice to "star" in TV documentaries. The Jurassic Park movie made its popularity jump through the roof with the villainous T-Rex. The menacing look and bulky body make this ferocious beast a general favorite and a popular subject for discussion. Studies have revealed that the bite force of a T-Rex could have been the strongest bite force of any terrestrial animal that has ever lived. T-Rex was also a fast chaser thanks to his strong muscled legs. numerous fossils of Tyrannosaurus have been found, and all over the globe. It has been argued before that this amazing animal ranks amongst the most succesful land predators that have ever hunted on the Earth, if not the leader itself.

Tyrannosaurus Scale

Description: Carnivore, Bipedal
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Tetanurae
Micro-order: Carnosauria
Family: Tyrannosauridae
Height: 13 feet (4.0 meters)
Length: 40 feet (12.3 meters) 
Weight: 16,000 pounds (7,258 kg)
Period: Late Cretaceous 

Tyrannosaurus Skeleton

And with this infamous creature I end my list of 10 Dinosaurs everyone likes to read about! It's incredible the giants and unique beings our Earth helped promote, and the ease with which it simply erased them from existence. Fortunately, little traces were left here and there to help us retrace and have a small glimpse of the fascinating worlds that existed before our own. 

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Comments

May 9, 2013 2:47am
chbamey
Great article on a fascinating topic! Nice list of popular dinosaurs, and great imagery. Thumbs up!
May 9, 2013 9:11am
Veethorn
Thanks a lot man, indeed I did put a lot of images, it was more of an image gallery and actual article, because when talking dinosaurs, one wants cool pics!
May 9, 2013 7:07am
EliasZanetti
Great article, indeed! I do like reading about dinosaurs and you did a good job with this article. I really liked the scale comparison you included too.
May 9, 2013 9:13am
Veethorn
Thanks, I have been fascinated by the subject for a loong time too! I used a mix of my "favorite monsters" and popularized dinosaurs in entertainment to create this list. I did put a lof of work into this one!
May 9, 2013 10:22am
jengojengo
Great article! I need to show it to my 5 year old who loves Dinos right now!
May 10, 2013 10:08am
Veethorn
Thats great to hear!
May 10, 2013 4:40am
appersonal
Dinosaurs NEVER get old. Pun intended. Why do we like them so much? They represent a period of time that existed long before anyone and yet dinosaur bones allow us to almost semi-virtually step back in time. That's it! It reminds me of time travel. Also, I think we have a fascination with their size. We pale in comparison. Very humbling. And also quite magnificent! Loved the article!
May 10, 2013 10:09am
Veethorn
I tottally agree man! Thanks a lot for the words
May 13, 2013 4:49pm
Johnnyknox
Wonderful article and great list. Dinosaurs is such a fascinating subject.
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