Ever wondered what it’s like in a day in the life of a dinosaur? Before we start lets look at some basic dinosaur facts!
- Dinosaurs are a group of reptiles that lived on Earth for about 245 million years.
- In 1842, the English naturalist Sir Richard Owen coined the term Dinosauria, derived from the Greek deinos, meaning “fearfully great,” and sauros, meaning “lizard.”
- Dinosaur fossils have been found on all seven continents!
- All non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago.
- There are roughly 700 known species of extinct dinosaurs.
- Modern birds are a kind of dinosaur because they share a common ancestor with non-avian dinosaurs.
What was it like to be a dinosaur?
Dinosaurs walked around slowly, eating, and going to the bathroom all day everyday. They weren’t necessarily violent, even the meat-eaters. Most of the time they were just looking for a meal!
When dinosaurs were not hunting, eating or sleeping they would communicate with one another. Communications likely included hoots and hollers, cracking sounds, dance and song, and even symbolic love calls made with showy plumage – like peacocks today!
Most dinosaurs slept at night just like our current animal kingdom. The nocturnal dinosaurs would hunt at night, but the majority of dinosaurs would be awake during the day.
New research suggests that some dinosaurs did all of their hunting at night. Studies of the eyes of existing birds and reptiles with different daily activity patterns were compared with similar parts in dinosaur fossils.
The results suggest that small, meat-eating dinosaurs were nocturnal (night timers); large, plant-eating dinosaurs tended to explore both during the day and at night.
Our dinosaurs do a lot of that too, but their favourite part of the day is when they get to meet lots of new friends at theatres across the UK!