The word Dinosaur was created by Richard Owen, biologist and founder of the London Natural Science Museum, in 1841. Dinos means Terrible and Saurio means Lizard.
Dinosaurs are vertebrate animals, they have a backbone or spinal column made up of vertebrae, and they belong to the group of reptiles. Reptiles were the first animals that stopped depending on an aquatic environment. Amphibians, for example, still need to return to the water to lay their eggs.
Unlike modern reptiles, the legs of dinosaurs were located under their hips, which helped them move with great agility.
Later, this more evolved pelvis diversified into saurischians and ornithischians. This made the saurischians even more agile and thus began a race between predator and prey.
As a curiosity, note that the feathers appeared with the dinosaurs and that the birds are their last descendants.
The expansion of the dinosaurs began in the middle of the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago. In the following period, the Jurassic, there was a great explosion of species diversity and its success lasted until the end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago, when a series of cataclysms led to its disappearance.
WHY DID THEY DISAPPEAR?
Although it is difficult to speak with certainty about exactly what happened, it is believed that the trigger could have been the fall of a large asteroid in the Yucatan Peninsula, as evidenced by the high levels of iridium (very common metal in asteroids) that have been found in the strata of the time. However, the impact did not immediately end the life of the dinosaurs, in fact it is believed that what caused the asteroid was the beginning of an apocalyptic era that could have lasted about 10 million years. The great impact threw large amounts of dust into the atmosphere, which caused the formation of dense clouds that gradually covered the sky. As the sun did not pass, the plants could not carry out photosynthesis, so the herbivores were left without food and, consequently, the carnivores. 70% of the species that inhabited the Earth disappeared.
WHAT IS NOT A DINOSAUR?
With the dinosaurs lived different marine and flying reptiles that tend to be confused, but that were not dinosaurs.
For example, it would be natural to think that Dimetrodon was a dinosaur, but the truth is that it did not have the characteristic of dinosaurs that we have previously pointed out: Dimetrodon's legs are positioned on both sides of its body, not below its hips. In fact, this animal was not even related to the dinosaurs.
Neither were the Pteriosaurs dinosaurs, which sailed through the skies. Although in this case, they were close relatives of the dinosaurs.
The Mesozoic seas teemed with species of Mosasaurs, Plesiosaurs, and Ichthyosaurs, all of them aquatic reptiles, but not dinosaurs.
With this information we want to help you solve some of the most frequent confusions, but even if these animals were not dinosaurs, they are no less amazing!
If you want to immerse yourself in the past and continue learning, do not hesitate to visit our Dinosaur collection. There you will find authentic specimens of dinosaur teeth and vertebrae. Each piece, 100% natural, without restorations, is duly documented and classified.