T. rex ancestor had an S-shaped brain, fossil reveals loading...
T. rex ancestor had an S-shaped brain, fossil reveals
The complex skull shows how tyrannosaurs became effective hunters at any size.
First fossil lungs found in dinosaur-era bird loading...
First fossil lungs found in dinosaur-era bird
Preserved for 120 million years, the organs offer fresh perspective on the origins of avian flight.
Bizarre 12-Ton Dinosaur Crouched Like a Cat loading...
Bizarre 12-Ton Dinosaur Crouched Like a Cat
This was the animal that wanted to have everything.
'Messy' New Species of Dinosaur-Era Bird Discovered loading...
'Messy' New Species of Dinosaur-Era Bird Discovered
The odd animal, named Jinguofortis perplexus, displays an unusual mosaic of bird and dinosaur features.
23 Fossil Pictures Capture the Mystery and Beauty of Dinosaurs loading...
23 Fossil Pictures Capture the Mystery and Beauty of Dinosaurs
Go digging for paleontology treasures in National Geographic's archives.
It’s a kangaroo… It’s a llama… No, it’s Palorchestes! loading...
It’s a kangaroo… It’s a llama… No, it’s Palorchestes!
Originally published in National Geographic's blog Phenomena 6th October 2010.
Here's What We Used to Think Dinosaurs Looked Like loading...
Here's What We Used to Think Dinosaurs Looked Like
These forgotten works of paleo art mingled scientific fact and fantasy.
It's Official: Stunning Fossil Is a New Dinosaur Species loading...
It's Official: Stunning Fossil Is a New Dinosaur Species
A new study of the fossil also makes the controversial claim that the armoured dinosaur had anti-predator camouflage.
This Dinosaur Is the 'Most Impressive Fossil' We've Ever Seen loading...
This Dinosaur Is the 'Most Impressive Fossil' We've Ever Seen
Our photographer couldn't believe his eyes when he first saw the fossil—and neither will you, once you see these exclusive pictures.
New Birdlike Dinosaur Had Modern Feathers loading...
New Birdlike Dinosaur Had Modern Feathers
A study of a well-preserved fossil pushes back the origin of the hardware for flight.
About Dinosaurs

The word dinosaur means ‘terrible lizard’ in Greek, however dinosaurs are closer relatives of the bird than the lizard. Dinosaurs belong to the family Dinosaurian, which went extinct about 66 million years ago. Based on fossil records it is believed dinosaurs roamed the earth for 135 million years before they died out.

Today, there are approximately 700 known species of dinosaur and 300 valid genera. It is estimated that there still remains 700 to 900 more dinosaur genera to be discovered and named. This comes as no surprise seeing as this number is miniscule compared to species of birds, mammals and reptiles that exist today.

Perhaps the most well known dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex), was once the largest land predator, making it a fearsome creature. Weighting in at 10 tons and standing up to 12 metres tall, the T-Rex was likely an apex predator of its time.

However, not all dinosaurs were fearsome. Although the Sauropods were the largest land animal to have lived, they were slow and herbivorous. A Sauropods neck could reach lengths of 15 metres, allowing them to feed on vegetation high up in the trees.

Today, we know of many animals that closely resemble their dinosaur ancestors. These include the saltwater crocodile, monitor lizards and even the cassowary, just to name a few. Birds are classified as modern feathered dinosaurs, making them the only group to have survived extinction millions of years ago. 

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