Dinosaurs were the dominant land animals for 160 million years, making them one of the most successful groups of animals ever. 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.
Do dinosaurs still live among us?
Scientific name: Dinosauria
terrible, powerful, wondrous lizard
A comparison of dinosaur size in relation to humans - from the 30m long Diplodocus to the 70cm tall Compsognathus.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.
By Dr Jo Wright
dern reptiles are cold blooded. However, a series of startling finds suggests there may have been dinosaurs living at the poles. What does this tell us about the possibility of warm-blooded dinosaurs. Dr Jo Wright investigates.
The idea that dinosaurs lived at the poles is based on remarkable finds made in Australia. There are two clues that Australia was once within the Antarctic Circle. Firstly, we can can determine at what latitude rocks formed from the orientation of magnetic particles within them. Secondly, evidence that the climate was seasonally cold comes from both plant fossils and sedimentary structures which form when the ground freezes.