Meet the monsters from Planet Dinosaur

A decade of discovery has unearthed a new world of dinosaurs - prehistoric beasts that are bigger, badder and more bizarre.


Name JURASSIC REPTILE Characteristics Facts
Predator X

Predator X


Lived: Late Jurassic (147 mya)

Weight: 45 tonnes

Length: 15 metres

Region: Europe

Bite four times stronger than T. rex.

Most powerful marine reptile ever found.

Estimated to move up to 5 metres per second.




Lived: Late Cretaceous (95 mya)

Weight: 75 tonnes

Length: 35 metres

Region: South America

Biggest dinosaur known to walk the Earth.

A newly hatched baby weighed just 5kg.

Fully grown in 40 years, at peak growing 40kg a day.




Lived: Late Cretaceous (95 mya)

Weight: 11 tonnes

Length: 17 metres

Region: North Africa

Thought to be the biggest land predator ever.

Large claws to catch fish in swamps and rivers.

Pressure sensors on its snout, like a crocodile, to hunt water prey.

Dinosaurs were the dominant land animals for 160 million years, making them one of the most successful groups of animals ever.

To find out more, download the BBC Planet Dinosaur fact sheet (below right), detailing the three prehistoric beasts shown above plus three more, including a tyrannosaur that hunted in gangs and the largest flying animal ever found.

Planet Dinosaur fact sheet


PDF download Planet Dinosaur timeline download[728KB]

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The Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods are periods of geological time from the Mesozoic era, which spanned from 250 to 65 million years ago (mya).

The Triassic era, from 250 to 200 mya was defined by dry and hot deserts covering much of the planet. During this time the first dinosaurs and mammals appeared.

The Jurassic, from 200 to 145 mya was warm, humid and wet, with much of the land covered in forest and ferns.

The Cretaceous, from 145 to 65 mya was also warm, with high sea levels and hardly any ice at the poles. Life flourished and flowering plants appeared.

Did you know?

The name dinosaur translates as 'terrible or wondrous lizards' and they certainly evolved in a diverse range of sizes and shapes, from the gigantic plant-eating sauropods to the quick meat-eating tyrannosaurs.

They also sported an impressive array of body modifications including horns, scales and crests. So far, the remains of over 1,000 different dinosaur species have been identified from fossils though technically, birds are feathered dinosaurs, meaning dinosaurs aren't really extinct at all.

Dinosaurs were given their name by the English palaeontologist Richard Owen in 1841.

Planet Dinosaur will broadcast on BBC One from Wednesday 14 September at 2030 BST.

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