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Portal:Dinosaurs

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The Dinosaur Portal

Triceratops prorsus old skull002.png

Introduction

A collection of fossil dinosaur skeletons. Clockwise from top left: Microraptor gui (a winged theropod), Apatosaurus louisae (a giant sauropod), Edmontosaurus regalis (a duck-billed ornithopod), Triceratops horridus (a horned ceratopsian), Stegosaurus stenops (a plated stegosaur), Pinacosaurus grangeri (an armored ankylosaur)

Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic period, between 243 and 233.23 million years ago, although the exact origin and timing of the evolution of dinosaurs is the subject of active research. They became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 201 million years ago; their dominance continued through the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Reverse genetic engineering and the fossil record both demonstrate that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier theropods during the late Jurassic Period. As such, birds were the only dinosaur lineage to survive the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago. Dinosaurs can therefore be divided into avian dinosaurs, or birds; and non-avian dinosaurs, which are all dinosaurs other than birds. This article deals primarily with non-avian dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs are a varied group of animals from taxonomic, morphological and ecological standpoints. Birds, at over 10,000 living species, are the most diverse group of vertebrates besides perciform fish. Using fossil evidence, paleontologists have identified over 500 distinct genera and more than 1,000 different species of non-avian dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are represented on every continent by both extant species (birds) and fossil remains. Through the first half of the 20th century, before birds were recognized to be dinosaurs, most of the scientific community believed dinosaurs to have been sluggish and cold-blooded. Most research conducted since the 1970s, however, has indicated that all dinosaurs were active animals with elevated metabolisms and numerous adaptations for social interaction. Some were herbivorous, others carnivorous. Evidence suggests that egg-laying and nest-building are additional traits shared by all dinosaurs, avian and non-avian alike.

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Sculpture of an Iguanodon, displayed in Germany

Iguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that lived roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal hypsilophodontids and the ornithopods' culmination in the duck-billed dinosaurs. Many species of Iguanodon have been named, dating from the Kimmeridgian age of the Late Jurassic Period to the Cenomanian age of the Late Cretaceous Period from Asia, Europe, and North America. However, research in the first decade of the 21st century suggests that there is only one well-substantiated species named I. bernissartensis, that lived from the late Barremian to the earliest Aptian ages (Early Cretaceous) in Belgium, between about 126 and 125 million years ago. Iguanodon's most distinctive features were its large thumb spikes, which were possibly used for defence against predators, combined with long prehensile fifth fingers able to forage for food. Named in 1825 by English geologist Gideon Mantell, Iguanodon was the second dinosaur formally named, after Megalosaurus. A large, bulky herbivore, Iguanodon is a member of Iguanodontia, along with the duck-billed hadrosaurs. (see more...)

Topics

Dinosaur-related topics - Dinosaur - Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event - Dinosaur-bird connection - Dinosaur classification - Evolution of dinosaurs - Feathered dinosaurs - List of dinosaurs - Paleontology - Physiology of dinosaurs
Locations - List of dinosaur-bearing rock formations - List of fossil sites - Dinosaur Cove - Dinosaur National Monument - Dinosaur Park Formation - Hell Creek Formation - Morrison Formation - Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite - Two Medicine Formation
Paleontologists - Mary Anning - Robert T. Bakker - Barnum Brown - William Buckland - Edward Drinker Cope - Jack Horner - Gideon Mantell - Othniel Charles Marsh - John Ostrom - Dong Zhiming - Philip J. Currie
History - List of years in paleontology - Bone Wars - Dinosaur Renaissance
Popular culture - List of dinosaur parks - Cultural depictions of dinosaurs - Jurassic Park - Jurassic Park (film) - Raptor Red
Featured dinosaur articles - Achelousaurus - Acrocanthosaurus - Albertosaurus - Allosaurus - Amargasaurus - Ankylosaurus - Apatosaurus - Archaeopteryx - Baryonyx - Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards - Bone Wars - Carnotaurus - Chicxulub crater - Compsognathus - Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event - Daspletosaurus - Deinocheirus - Deinonychus - Dinosaur - Diplodocus - Edmontosaurus - Edward Drinker Cope - Giganotosaurus - Gorgosaurus - Herrerasaurus - Heterodontosaurus - Iguanodon - Lambeosaurus - List of dinosaurs - Majungasaurus - Massospondylus - Nemegtomaia - Nigersaurus - Opisthocoelicaudia - Paranthodon - Parasaurolophus - Plateosaurus - Psittacosaurus - Stegoceras - Stegosaurus - Styracosaurus - Tarbosaurus - Thescelosaurus - Triceratops - Tyrannosaurus - Velociraptor
Good dinosaur articles Abelisauridae - Alioramus - Ampelosaurus - Amphicoelias - "Archaeoraptor" - Balaur bondoc - Cairanoolithus - Ceratopsia - Coelurus - Corythosaurus - Cetiosauriscus - Cryolophosaurus - Cultural depictions of dinosaurs - Dinheirosaurus - Eolambia - Gryposaurus - Heterodontosauridae - Kentrosaurus - Kritosaurus - Hypacrosaurus - Hypsibema missouriensis - Limusaurus - Macroolithus - Megalosaurus - Othnielosaurus - Pachycephalosaurus - Patagosaurus - Prosaurolophus - Rajasaurus - Saurolophus - Sauropelta - Scelidosaurus - Sinoceratops - Sinosauropteryx - Species of Allosaurus - Spinosaurus - Struthiosaurinae - Tyrannosauridae - Tyrannosauroidea - Vulcanodon

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Mantell's original drawing of Iguanodon.

Gideon Mantell's famous original Iguanodon drawing with the incorrect placement of the thumb spike on Iguanodon's nose.

Photo credit: Commons:User:Mgiganteus

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