Dinosaurs might have been extinct for 65 million years, but did you know that we’ve only recently started to learn more about these ‘terrible lizards?’ The first complete dinosaur skeleton was discovered just 150 years ago, with the first dinosaur recognised by science given the name Megalosaurus. Since then, there have been many more fascinating finds. So let’s check out four of the best dinosaur discoveries of the past decade.
#1 The Spinosarus was a Brilliant Swimmer
Longer than a T-rex but more lightly built, the Spinosaurus roamed the plains of North Africa about 99-93.5 million years. While dinosaur experts, known as palaeontologists, have long suspected that the giant carnivore spent much of its time in water, fossils found in 2015 revealed the Spinosaurus to be the first known semi-aquatic dinosaur. With flat feet and a tail that works like a paddle, this beast would have been able to propel itself through water easily.
#2 Some Baby Dinosaurs had an ‘Egg Tooth’
Scientists know a lot more about fully grown dinosaurs than they do about baby dinosaurs. But a few years ago, the embryo of a long-necked dinosaur called a titanosaur was found to have a rhino-like horn jutting from its face. This feature has not yet been associated with adult titanosaurs, suggesting that the horn is a temporary ‘egg tooth’ which helps the baby to crack out of its shell. Now how sweet is that? Palaeontologists are continuing to learn more about dino babies and we’re sure to find out even more amazing facts in the future.
#3 The Behaviour of Birds Originated from Dinosaurs
In 2021, scientists found a perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo that was preparing to hatch from its egg, just like a chicken. The embryo was discovered in Ganzhou in southern China and researchers estimate it to be at least 66 million years old. Named Baby Yingliang, the fossil highlighted the link between dinosaurs and modern birds. It showed the embryo in a curled position known as ‘tucking,’ which is a behaviour seen in birds shortly before they hatch. This indicates that such behaviour in modern birds evolved and originated among dinosaurs.
#4 Australia’s Largest Ever Dinosaur Species Found
In 2021, researchers confirmed the discovery of Australia’s largest dinosaur species ever found. The Australotitan Cooperensis was about 80 to 100 feet long and 16 to 21 feet tall at its hip. It weighed somewhere between 25 and 81 tons. In comparison, the T-rex was about 40 feet long and 12 feet tall. Scientists involved in the discovery say it’s among the top 15 largest dinosaurs ever discovered in the world.
If you love dinosaurs and are looking for fun things to do in Newbury, don’t miss Dinosaur World Live. This spectacular theatre show, complete with life-like puppetry live on stage, is currently touring the UK and is certainly one of the best Newbury attractions. Book your tickets today and enjoy a family adventure to remember.