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Dinosaurs and Birds

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Falcarius utahensis
© 2005 Jim Kirkland


Prosaurolophus
© 2008 Royal Tyrrell Museum


Allosaurus fragilis
© 2010 public domain

What are Dinosaurs and Birds? The dinosaurs, which means “terrible lizards,” are a very diverse group of reptiles that have been divided into two groups based on the arrangement of bones in their hips.

The Ornithischia, meaning “bird-hipped” dinosaurs, include, among others, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and the various “duck-billed” dinosaurs. The Saurischia, or “lizard-hipped” dinosaurs, include the herbivorous sauropods (like brontosaurs and diplodocids) and carnivorous theropods, such as Velociraptor, Dilophosaurus, and Gallimimus of "Jurassic Park" fame.

Birds evolved from theropods— a group of small, predatory dinosaurs, some of which had feathers. Dinosaurs first appeared in the Triassic, and except for the birds, went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.

First known fossil occurrence: Triassic.

Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.

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See Dinosaurs and Birds from the:

Quaternary
Tertiary
Cretaceous
Jurassic
Triassic
Permian
Carboniferous
Devonian
Silurian
Ordovician
Cambrian
Precambrian
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