Meaning “fused lizard,” the Ankylosaurus was one of the last dinosaurs. It lived 66 million years ago and was known for its scaled body and club-like tail. Adults ranged in length from 24 to 34 feet and could weigh anywhere from five to eight tons. Though it looked like it was built for battle, the Ankylosaurus was a herbivore and only utilized its armor and tail club to defend itself from other predators.
Parasaurolophus’ name translates to “near crested lizard,” and it is easily identified by the curved crest on its head and its face, which has commonly been described as duck-like. Able to walk on their hind-legs or on all fours, these dinosaurs roamed across the lands in North America roughly 75 million years ago, with many fossils being found in Utah. It is now believed that their head crest was used to help regulate their body temperature as well as differentiate between males and females.
Known as the “three-horned face,” the triceratops is famous for the horns protruding out of its skull and the shield-like frill around its neck. Depicted as a peaceful creature, the triceratops is now believed to have been an aggressive dinosaur. It had the diet of an herbivore, so it did not eat any other dinosaurs that it fought, but it was an extremely territorial creature that immediately protected its home from outsiders.
Possibly the most popular dinosaur out there, the “tyrant lizard king” reigned supreme among the dinosaurs. Researchers have gone back and forth on whether the T-rex was a predator that hunted down its prey or if it was a scavenger that took what was hunted by other dinosaurs. Currently, researchers believe that the T-rex was primarily a predator that occasionally acted as a scavenger, taking the food of other dinosaurs.
For a long time, scientists believed that the T-Rex, as well as many other dinosaurs, simply looked like lizards with thick skin. This idea has been replaced in recent years with the theory that many dinosaurs had feathers. These feathers came in a variety of colors and patterns, though we are still unsure whether they were intended to make the dinosaurs colorful and stand out or to camouflage them and help them hide. These discoveries are constantly helping us understand the true colors of dinosaurs.
It’s a never-ending story when it comes to dinosaurs, with new facts, fossils, and even tracks of footprints being discovered all the time. There are millions of years of history right under our feet, which is constantly helping us understand the monstrous creatures we grew up loving.