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Dinosaurs and Birds

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Allosaurus fragilis
Allosaurus fragilis
© 2005 Mark Loewen, Utah Museum of Natural History


Tyrannosaurus rex
© 2008 Royal Tyrrell Museum


Chasmosaurus belli
© 2008 Jordan Mallon

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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