Children of all ages love and will always love the dinosaur. These creatures have captured the imaginations of all young and old.
Dinosaurs lived a very long time ago before the cave man! In fact, dinosaurs lived on Earth for about 160 million years. That is an extremely long time.
Since Earth was formed it has changed a great deal. The land masses, seas, and climate changed, as did the animals and plants. Even the dinosaurs evolved. Many different kinds of dinosaurs evolved during the time that they lived on Earth.
The Mesozoic Era, or the Age of the Dinosaurs is divided into three periods: the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. To learn more visit these sites.
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Dinosaurs of this period
All dinosaurs were reptiles. They lived on land, and most laid eggs with hard shells. They had tough scaly skin and claws of some sort. Reptiles cannot make their own body heat, they had to rely on the air around them to make them warm or to cool them down. Some scientist now think that dinosaurs were 'warm blooded'--that they could make their own heat inside their bodies, just as mammals do.
So what made dinosaurs different from other reptiles? Their legs were tucked straight under their bodies, not sticking out to the side like the legs of other reptiles. They could walk and move about much more easily than other reptiles who had to drag their bodies along the ground as they walked, which made movement more difficult. Dinosaurs walked more in a upright way, either on two or on four legs and although some moved quite slowly, other dinosaurs could run very fast indeed.