Paleontology Paper

982 words - 4 pages

Dinosaur Research Paper

Ryley
Paleontology 15

Dinosaurs were creatures that ruled the Earth for over 160 million years. They became extinct in the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit the earth causing the climate to change extremely leading up to the dinosaurs extinction. Many different species of dinosaurs existed during this time, about 500 different species in total. Each species had different adaptations and different body parts to better their living conditions. Dinosaurs were reptiles and most dinosaurs hatched from eggs and grew relatively quick compared to the growth of humans. The largest dinosaurs were over 100 feet long and up to 50 feet tall. The ...view middle of the document...

These dinosaurs were divided into two main groups; theropods and one of the two primary lineages of herbivorous dinosaurs; the sauropods. These dinosaurs dated back to the early Jurassic and were an amazingly diverse group of dinosaurs.
Sauropods are an infraorder of the saurischian dinosaurs. Sauropods were herbivores, their diet consisted of a variety of different plants and tree leaves. They digested their food by swallowing their food into a large gizzard. The digestion process is then aided by large stones which the sauropod swallows for this purpose. Sauropods lived widespread throughout the world in the late Jurassic period, but first appeared during the Triassic period. These dinosaurs had a huge neck, reaching to the tops of trees, then eating the leaves that grew there. Sauropods had spatula shaped teeth to make chewing and grinding down plants and leaves easier. These dinosaurs were massive overall. The smallest sauropods were still counted among the largest animals in their ecosystem at 20 feet long. The only real competitor in terms of size is the blue whale, but sauropods were land based. All sauropods were quadrupeds, or four legged. Their hind legs were straight, strong and massive, ending in club like feet with five toes, which had the inner three toes clawed. The front legs were significantly longer, ending in pillar-like “hands” which sauropods used for supporting weight and stability. Only the thumb had a claw. This particular family is famous for its enormous size and long necks. This group includes the world’s largest land animal to ever live. The biggest of the sauropods was the Brachiosaurus. Standing on for legs, this dinosaur could reach heights of up to 40-50 feet tall and 85 feet long. This land giant weighed anywhere from 33-88 tons. The Brachiosaurus had a small head compared to the rest of its body, giving its overall appearance a weird shape. Another unusual appearance on this dinosaur was their front legs were longer than their hind legs, giving it a giraffe-like...

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