Between 245 and 66-million years ago, dinosaurs walked the planet, taking many secrets of what life was like at the time with them to their graves. By studying fossils, scientists have managed to get a good idea of what these prehistoric creatures would have looked like and have divided them into seven main groups. So let’s check out each of the dinosaur types and unravel some mind-blowing facts. To learn more about dinos, you can also book tickets to Dinosaur World Live. This is one of the best dinosaur attractions in the UK, full of spectacular puppetry and interactive fun - so don’t miss out.
The seven dinosaur groups are as follows:
Powerful, aggressive and feared by other dinosaur types, Theropods were the only meat-eating group of dinosaurs. With ‘Theropod’ literally meaning ‘beast footed’ these formidable creatures would walk around on three-toed, bird-like feet hunting for prey. Their legs were powerful and their arms were short with sharp claws. The T-Rex is one of the most famous Theropods to have been discovered and analysed by palaeontologists. Book tickets to the aforementioned dinosaur adventure live to see this creature portrayed on stage.
If you’ve ever seen The Land Before Time, you’ll already be familiar with Sauropods. These were really large herbivores, identified by their small heads and extremely long necks and tails. Sauropods walked on all four legs and would stomp around for miles looking for fresh greens to chomp on. The Diplodocus is probably the most well-known Sauropod.
Stegosaurs were slow-moving, medium-sized herbivores. They therefore needed adequate protection to keep them safe from predators, which is why their bodies were covered in flexible plates which served as a type of armour and their tails were spiky and strong. The Stegosaurus is an obvious example of this dinosaur type.
As one of the last non-flying dinosaur types to survive on Earth, Ankylosaurs thrived in the Cretaceous Period around 68-66 million years ago. Like Stegosaurs, they also had short limbs and heavily armoured bodies. They were herbivores and were easy to identify thanks to their leaf-shaped teeth, a distinctly domed and short snout, and a tail club. The Minmi is an example of this kind of dinosaur.
Dominant in North America, the Ornithopods started out as small, fast running grazers and grew in size and numbers until they were one of the most successful groups of herbivores in the Cretaceous world. Ornithopods walked and ran on their two back feet and were the equivalent of today’s cattle and deer.
These reptiles often lived in large herds for protection and were well-known for their horned or frilled heads. Some even had parrot-like beaks, with the Triceratops being one of the most well-known Ceratopsian dinosaurs.
These dinosaurs were very strange looking indeed. They had thick skulls that could reach up to nine-inches thick and much of the skull and snout were covered with small bony knobs and spikes. The dinosaur’s cranium was so thick that it would sometimes survive as a fossil, even when the rest of the skeleton had degraded. Pachycephalosaurus is an example that walked around slowly on its two back legs.
If you’re looking for ‘dinosaur attractions near me’, don’t miss Dinosaur World Live. This spectacular show is packed with information and interactive fun, making it great for the whole family.