|Types of Dinosaurs|
There were many different kinds of dinosaurs.
- The smallest types were about the same size as a chicken, and the largest were over 100 feet (30 meters) long.
- Different dinosaurs ate different diets. Some types of dinosaurs ate only meat ("carnivores"), some ate only plants ("herbivores"), and some ate both plants and meats ("omnivores").
- Many people incorrectly assume that all the dinosaurs lived together at the same time. This was not the case. The dinosaurs lived during a period known as the Mesozoic Era which lasted many millions of years. During that time, new types of dinosaurs evolved, and other types went extinct. In fact, in terms of distance in time, we are closer to some of the later types of dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, than they are to some of the mid-period, and relatively early types of dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus or Plateosaurus.
- The world was very different at the time of the dinosaurs, however the dinosaurs were around for such a long time that the world changed considerably over this period:
- At the time of the earliest dinosaurs, the Triassic period, all the Earth's continents were joined together in one super-continent, called Pangaea.
- During the final period of the dinosaurs, known as the the Cretaceous period, just before the dinosaurs become extinct, the super-continent had broken up, and the different parts had begun to drift apart into something starting to resemble the modern globe.
Of course, during this entire period, different regions had different climates and ecology, and so different types of animals (including different types of dinosaurs) were found in the various parts of the world.
- Just like modern animals, the different types of dinosaurs were related to each other. Biologists use the terms "order", "family", "genus" and "species" to classify dinosaurs and to indicate how closely different types of animals are related.
A dinosaur which is the same species as another dinosaur is of the exact same type, whereas two dinosaurs which are of the same genus are closely related but of different types, and two dinosaurs of the same family are a bit more distantly related and so on.
The chart below shows some of the different types of dinosaurs (divided into herbivores, carnivores and omnivores). In most cases, the chart shows a genus or family of dinosaur, although in some cases a single species may be indicated.
Please select any one of these dinosaurs, if you would like to find out more informaiton about that particular type of dinosaur: