Enter a world of dinosaurs...

The Doctor faces a spaceship full of dinosaurs in his next adventure, but what’s the truth behind these huge, monstrous-looking creatures that have captured the imaginations of successive generations?

The remains of over 1,000 different dinosaur species have been identified from fossils found around the world and it’s estimated that they were the dominant land animals for over 150 million years.  Dinosaurs were given their name by the English palaeontologist Richard Owen in 1841 and since then a huge amount has been discovered about this amazing superorder, although the exact cause of their extinction is still debated.

Dinosaurs have been depicted onscreen since the birth of the moving image, with silent films like The Lost World (1925) and early talkies such as King Kong (1933) recognising the public’s fascination with the pre-historic beasts that once roamed our planet. But the fantastic depiction of dinosaurs is not a fiction - they sported a striking array of physical attributes including horns, scales and crests and the variety of species is startling, from the massive, plant-eating sauropods to the small swift velociraptors.

Want to find out more about dinosaurs?

The BBC has a huge amount of material on dinosaurs and BBC Nature is a great place to start your investigations! You’ll find an introduction to the species, plus videos about their environment and ultimate extinction. You’ll also be able to access clips of shows like Walking with Dinosaurs which bring these creatures vividly to life.

Check out the BBC’s Dinosaur Season for dino games, a quiz, more videos and a look at the biggest dinosaur ever! And to discover more about ‘Giants of the Jurassic’ and other specific types of dinosaurs, visit the pages that cover Prehistoric Life.

And finally, they may have been extinct for millions of years but they’re rarely out of the headlines! Take a look at the hundreds of news items that cover everything from fantastic fossil finds to stories about how they hunted. It’s all here!

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