Roarsome Dinosaur Facts for Kids!

It’s pretty scary to think that huge creatures used to walk our planet, especially when you learn that some were fierce carnivores (meat eaters). However, dinosaurs existed a very long time ago now, and the only evidence we have of their existence is through the fossilisation of their bones, footprints and more. Fossilisation is where remains are preserved over a period of millions of years, and it’s an extremely rare process. As such, whenever no dinosaur remains are found scientists and dinosaur fans get very excited indeed!

If you’re a fan of dinosaurs or just want to learn more about them, you’ll love our below dinosaur facts for kids! Pick a species below, or click here for our general dinosaur facts!

Triceratops Facts

A Triceratops’ face was dominated by three horns and a huge frill which grew out from the back of its skull and covered its neck!

Velociraptor Facts

Despite how they appear in films, the Velociraptor was about the size of a large turkey, and covered in feathers!

Tyrannosaurus Rex 🦖

The fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs
to ever live, being 40 feet (12.3 m) long!

General Dinosaur Facts

  1. The word ‘dinosaur’ originates from the Greek words ‘deinos’ (meaning terrible, potent and formidable), and ‘sauros’ (meaning lizard or reptile). As such, the word ‘dinosaur’ actually means terrible lizard! Don’t let this confuse you though, dinosaurs are actually reptiles, not lizards. The word was coined by paleontologist (a scientist that studies fossils) Sir Richard Owen in 1842.
  2. Dinosaurs existed during the Mesozoic Era which covers three periods: The Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. The Mesozoic Era is also known as the ‘Age of Dinosaurs’, and spans between 252 million years ago to around 66 million years ago. While this makes them very, very old, jellyfish have been around longer than dinosaurs and are still around today!
Mesozoic Timeline

The Mesozoic Timeline

  1. It is believed that at the end of this period, dinosaurs were wiped out by a mass extinction. Many scientists believe that this extinction was the result of an asteroid collision.
  2. Dinosaurs lived all over the planet, with fossils being found on every continent.
  3. Despite what you may think, most dinosaurs were herbivores with a diet consisting of plants. The meat eating dinosaurs, known as carnivores, hunted herbivores (or other carnivores), or scavenged for dead animals.
  4. People who study dinosaurs and their fossils are known as ‘paleontologists’. Some people pursue paleontology professionally, though some of the biggest discoveries were by amateur paleontologists who just do it for fun as a hobby!
  5. The most widely known dinosaur is probably the Tyrannosaurus Rex, or T-Rex. The word ‘Tyrannosaurus’ originates from the Greek words for ‘tyrant lizard’, and ‘rex’ actually means ‘king’ in Latin, meaning it’s name essentially means ‘TYRANT LIZARD KING’!
  6. The T-Rex walked on two feet, using it’s long tail to balance it’s huge head, and was a fearsome carnivore (meat eater!). Based on fossils, it’s possible to estimate that the T-Rex was around 40 feet long and 20 feet tall!

The skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex at the American Museum of Natural History

  1. One of the smallest known dinosaurs is a bird-dinosaur known as the ‘Compsognathus’. Like the T-Rex it walked on 2 legs (known as bipedal), and was about the size of a chicken.
  2. While there are no official collective nouns for dinosaurs, herds, flocks and packs are all great words for describing a group of them.
  3. There were no marine dinosaurs, but there were marine reptiles, like the huge Kronosaurus. The Kronosaurus was 30 to 35 feet long, with a long body and elongated head, propelling itself with four large flippers.
  4. The ‘Troodon’ is considered as the most intelligent dinosaur. It was small and bird-like, but had a huge brain considering it’s size and also had grasping hands.
  5. Scientists are almost certain on the fact that dinosaurs evolved into birds. A lot of evidence suggests that birds evolved from small feather covered dinosaurs known as theropods.
  6. The first dinosaur to ever be discovered and named was the ‘Megalosaurus’, meaning ‘big lizard’. It was discovered by British naturalist called William Buckland, and was a carnivore with a length of 30 feet!
  7. Because herbivorous (plant eating) dinosaurs were often hunted by carnivorous (meat eating) dinosaurs, they had all sorts of natural defences such as horns, spikes, claws, armour plating and great swinging tails!

So there you have it, 15 awesome facts about dinosaurs. Do you have a favourite dinosaur or want to know more? Then drop us an email!

Sources

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