(Latin Dinosauria, from the Greek deinos – terrible and saurus – lizard) – extinct animals that make up the numerous suborder of the reptile class that lived on the Earth from 225 to 65 million years ago (in the Mesozoic era). Nadotryad dinosaurs belong to the subclass of arhosaurs and is divided into groups of sparrows (Saurischia) and poultry (Ornithischia).
Life on Earth was born long enough, species appeared, evolved, someone disappeared without a trace, and someone moved to a new stage. The modern appearance of the planet is completely different from the original one. Of all the diversity of animals that disappeared during the long life of the Earth, people are particularly interested in dinosaurs – the great rulers of the planet, mysteriously disappeared millions of years ago.
The first attempts to study the fossil remains of huge creatures were undertaken in the 19th century, since then mankind has learned a lot about these amazing animals, but has had at its disposal extensive material for fancies and fantasies. List of fabulous animals filled up with new characters. We already know that dinosaurs inhabited almost every corner of the planets for tens of millions of years. The smallest of them were the size of a chicken, and the largest of them weighed tens of tons.
The term “dinosaur” was introduced in 1842 by the biologist Richard Owen, derived from two Greek words (deinos – scary and saurus – lizard) and literally means “terrible lizard”. The main mystery of these animals is their mysterious disappearance, one version of which we will consider below. Ordinary people satisfy their interest in these animals from artistic or scientific films, scientists, still, beckon the deserts of Asia, Africa and the mountains of Patagonia, where one can still find the ancient remains of dinosaurs, touch the riddles and, perhaps, discover new secrets . Every year museums of the world are filled with remains and reconstructions of skeletons of these animals, attracting visitors. Let us also go on a journey into the world of these animals, opening the curtain of their secrets.
Dinosaurs were empty-headed – in an empty and figurative sense.
At first sight this statement is somewhat ridiculous, however, it is not far from the truth. The fact is that in the skulls of these prehistoric reptiles really there were air cavities, the volume of which considerably exceeded the volume of the brain. This conclusion was reached by scientists from the University of Ohio, who examined skulls of dinosaurs using computed tomography. The control group also included crocodiles, the closest relatives of dinosaurs, as well as ostriches and humans. The experiments showed that the air cavities performed, firstly, the role of climate control, and secondly, they acted as shock absorbers, keeping the brain from blows during numerous skirmishes. Dinosaurs with a weak neck to manage such a head was much easier, because it was a little and weighed. It turns out that these air bags played a role in communication. The cavity configurations acted as resonators, with their help the dinosaurs managed their voice. The scientists found out that these animals could recognize each other by the smallest nuances of the published sounds. Another part of the myth is only a conjecture, a consequence of the man’s disregard for animals in general. Although the American paleontologist Otnil Marshch, who first studied the skeleton of a dinosaur and said that these animals were stupid and slow. And, the truth, the smallest brain, the size of a walnut was in the armor and prickly dinosaurs, which peacefully grazed, being reliably protected. Predators have the same situation. The fact is that claws and teeth do not bring booty to their owners, they must be skillfully used. Predators simply need to actively move, constantly tracking and catching prey, the brain is constantly busy calculating the possible trajectories of the victim. High intelligence also implied the presence of a larger skull.From fossil remains it is evident that the skull of predatory animals markedly exceeded the skull of sauropods – gigantic dinosaurs with a long neck, feeding on plant food. The absolute record for the volume of the brain belongs to the stenichosaur, the volume of the “gray matter” of which was 6 times greater than that of modern reptiles of the same size! The ratio of brain size to body size is comparable to that of chimpanzees. These animals differed even with large eyes, scientists assume that they have binocular vision, as in humans and birds. That is, in this view, the brain receives not two different pictures from the eyes, but one whole, obtained from the intersection of images. This improved the accuracy of the hunter’s movement, allowing him to hunt more efficiently. Steniosaurs, like humans, had a highly developed cerebellum and medulla oblongata, they walked on two hind legs and generally had a humanoid appearance. These animals could analyze events, develop a strategy of joint hunting. Surprisingly, in most animals with long tails, the spinal cord in the pelvic areas was much larger in volume than the head. Many scientists believe that the pelvic brain controlled the back of the body and tail. Apparently – among the dinosaurs there were at least at least many species of modern animals. Some scientists, in general, have a theory according to which dinosaurs, having evolved and built their civilization, flew into space to conquer other planets, because they had time for it – millions of years. It would be a bipedal creature about 135 cm tall, arms and legs would have three fingers, and the body would be covered with dense scales. Glaznitsa would occupy about a quarter of the face, and the pupils would be slit-shaped.
Dinosaurs spent most of their lives in a semi-aquatic environment.
But in this case, any attempt to go ashore or enter the water will be doomed to failure – a heavy body will simply get bogged down in mud. Therefore, all the giant dinosaurs (and brontosaurs, and sauropods) predominantly led a terrestrial way of life. Even nature has taken care of the convenience of the existence of these animals on land. Bones of dinosaurs had cavities filled with air, so the skeleton was as if pneumatized. In terms of strength, this design was not much inferior to that of solid bone tissue, but the weight of the body relative to the dimensions was 30-40% less than in mammals. Hence the direct benefit – animals could move faster and had less need for food. Only, it seems that the dinosaurs were awkward, slow creatures. Many of them had complicated behavior, they were able to take care of the offspring. However, the water environment was also not alien to dinosaurs. So, at the bottom of one parched lake, fingerprints of the therapod were found, which may indicate that the animal was swimming, pawing like modern waterfowl. Although there is a version that this dinosaur, in view of the insufficient depth of the reservoir, simply clawed at the bottom to resist the current. One thing is certain – the predators of that time could pursue their victims not only on land, but also water, although such behavior was not peculiar to them.
In dinosaurs, the skin was smooth or scaly.
Surprisingly, many of the dinosaurs were covered with feathers. The body of predators were unevenly distributed bundles of feathers. The fact is that feathers are derived from reptilian scales, therefore, although their presence may seem unusual, but it is quite reasonable from the point of view of evolution. Scientists assumed that feathers performed functions similar to those of bird feathers. They helped the animals maneuver, for animals living in a temperate climate, performed a heat insulation role. And it’s not a secret that birds originated from dinosaurs. By the way, feathers are probably not the invention of birds and dinosaurs. Among the animals that lived more than 200 million years ago, puffers are known. Whose feathers or feathers did they eat? After all, then the birds just did not yet exist.
Dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible.
Naturally, the very word dinosaur in the sacred book is not mentioned, since this concept appeared only in the 19th century, but it contains a description of living beings very similar to those whose remains are found by archaeologists. At the same time, mythical animals do not resemble anyone except dinosaurs! Thus, in the book of Job it is mentioned: “Behold I am the hippopotamus, whom I created, like you, he eats grass like a wolf, his strength in his loins and his strength in the muscles of his belly, turns his tail like a cedar, veins On his hips are intertwined, his legs are like copper pipes, his bones are like iron bars. ” Referring to such creatures, the Bible uses the words “tanin” and “hippopotamus”. The word “tanin” combines the giant dragon-like sea creatures, like octopuses, squid, and also almost extinct marine reptiles. “Behemoth” also means a royal giant animal. Bible researchers come to the conclusion that they are talking about animals that existed long ago, as the description does not fit the description of, say, elephants whose tail is not like cedar. Description of the same, say legs, sizes, bones is very similar to just the giant dinosaurs. Interestingly, there are mentions of dinosaurs in the epos of the Indians, in Babylon, ancient Rome, among the Sumerians and Australians. In the Anglo-Saxon poem of the 18th century, “Beowulf” the hero in 515 struggles with his enemy Grendel. By a bright description, it is easily recognized by none other than … tyrannosaurus! Amazing is the way that Beowulf killed the villain – he tore Grendel’s underdeveloped forelimb. It is interesting that the same way of fighting the monster was depicted on the ancient Babylonian press. Such a method will cause the death of the animal from loss of blood due to high blood pressure. How the dinosaurs got into the epics of peoples of different countries and eras – remains a mystery.
Dinosaurs died out due to the fall of a giant meteorite.
The end of the era of dinosaurs comes to the end of the Cretaceous period – 65 million years ago. There are many theories trying to explain their disappearance, but none of them gives a clear answer to the “great extinction” that occurred. During this natural catastrophe, not only dinosaurs, but also many marine reptiles, as well as flying lizards, mollusks, seaweed, have died out. A total of 47% of the genera of marine animals and 18% of the families of animals living on land died. Theories alternated with each other – these are floods, diseases, hunger and cold, the fall of large celestial bodies to Earth. The last of these theories is currently the most popular. According to her, after the fall of a large meteorite a huge cloud of smoke, dust and moisture rose, which overshadowed the Sun, which led to fatal consequences. The temperature on the planet has rapidly fallen, literally in a few moments many species, including dinosaurs, were swept from the face of the Earth. In support of this theory, astronomers cite calculations according to which asteroids of more than 10 km in size collide with the Earth on average once every 100 million years, which in order of magnitude may correspond to the date of the “great extinction”. The version of the meteorite is based on the existence of the Chikshulub crater in Mexico, which is the trail of the fall of more than 65 million years ago a meteorite measuring about 10 km. Perhaps after the disappearance of dinosaurs out of their “shadow” came out mammals, which became the dominant view on the planet. Science says that in the situation of radical changes on the planet, the very highly developed beings become the most vulnerable. It was this that gave rise to the myth of a group of highly developed animals that, by chance, were destroyed, swept from the top of evolution. The mystery of the disappearance of dinosaurs supports the interest of people to that era, these amazing animals are written books, movies are made, video games are created. Although there are studies that disprove this reason for the extinction of dinosaurs.According to the research published in 2003 by British scientists, the meteorite fell to Mexico for 300,000 years before the extinction, so it could not be the cause of the catastrophe. It is even more incomprehensible how the dinosaurs died out as a result of the meteorite’s fall, but the birds, sensitive to changes in the environment, remained alive. Much more logical is the version according to which a meteorite or some other catastrophe has become only a catalyst for a long chain of significant natural changes. The habitat gradually deteriorated, the nights and winters became colder, the heat and moisture-loving animals and plants grew more slowly and began to gradually die out. But they were replaced by new ones. And this process lasted for millions of years, when there were no dinosaurs left on the planet at all. Another interesting version is based on the fact that dinosaurs will be reptilian. Such a classification of dinosaurs, hitherto undefined to any class, suggests that, as a result of the onset of the Ice Age, a particular metabolism of reptiles led to a sharp decrease in the number of females, which led to extinction. The only version is not, that, the more interest in ongoing research!
Dinosaurs were susceptible to oncological diseases.
Scientists have found that tumors in dinosaurs were similar to tumors in humans. This proves that oncological diseases existed for a long time and did not undergo significant changes. Radiologist Bruce Rothschild scanned more than 10 thousand dinosaur vertebrae, exploring different types of dinosaur vertebrae. The scientist discovered that only one group of the investigated – hadrosaurs (or platypus dinosaurs), suffered from cancer. In the bones of the remaining signs of tumors was found. The problem of tumors in dinosaurs was raised earlier, however, additional studies confirmed that some bone lesions, considered the consequences of cancer, are in fact just the consequences of fractures. But why did these diseases occur in the gadrosaurs? Rothschild is inclined to think that this led to the maintenance in their diet of a large number of coniferous plants containing carcinogens. The structure of the bones of the hydrosaurs speaks of their warm-bloodedness, which also increases the risk of diseases. Perhaps these animals lived more than others, which gave tumors more time to develop. The question is why the hydrosaurs have more lesions in the tail area, and it remains open.
Dinosaurs lived on their own.
According to Reuters, paleontologists of the British Museum of Natural History came to the conclusion that dinosaurs had social behavior, and it was formed much earlier than previously thought. Thus, in the Northeast of China, the remains of several psittacosaurus specimens were found lying next to each other, as if they were in the same group or herd. And next to the adult specimens were the cubs, the smallest of which was about half a meter in length, hatched from different parents and from different eggs. The presence of such a “kindergarten” suggests that these dinosaurs, who lived more than 100 million years ago, had social behavior. The death of the herd was due to the eruption of the volcano, which simply fell asleep with their ashes. Psittacosaurus possessed a beak, lived on the territory of today’s eastern part of Asia and was the ancestors of triceratops and procaratops, which also, by the way, had social behavior. In Texas, 20 parallel pairwise traces of a group of animals were found, among which were young animals. At the present time, a lot of evidence has been accumulated of the herd-dwelling herbivorous dinosaurs’ way of life, and similar evidence is emerging about small predators.
Almost all dinosaurs were slow.
The entire era of dinosaurs was characterized by the presence among predatory and among the herbivorous dinosaurs species that differed in a particularly proportional structure and could move quickly on the hind limbs.For example, coalfusis, was one of the fastest dinosaurs. With an increase of 3 meters, it weighed only about 30 kilograms, accelerating according to some data to 80 km / h. With evolutionary development, dinosaurs did not lose their speed, for example, a much later ostrich dinosaur was no less rapid. Gazelle dinosaurs developed speed up to 45 km / h.
Dinosaurs lived for several centuries.
Scientists usually determine the age of the annual rings, which show seasonal changes in tissue growth. However, in a climate of constant climate, this method is unacceptable, since the animals grew evenly. Such rings can not be found on the bones of animals, or on their teeth, or even on plants of that era. Therefore, there is no exact information about the life expectancy of dinosaurs. Scientists suggest that giant dinosaurs could live up to 200-300 years, while small species lived from one to several tens of years.
Dinosaurs were thermophilic animals.
According to sensational studies by Australian paleontologists at the South Pole, traces of dinosaurs were found that lived there, but not at a warm temperature of -30 ° C. On the island of Ross in 2004, scientists found fragments of the jaw and legs of a creature resembling a tyrannosaurus. In the interior of the mainland, bones of a herbivorous creature 10 meters long resembling diplodocus were found, and in 2006, the remains of a dinosaur more than 3.5 meters in height were found. All these animals lived more than 110 million years ago. Presumably they had a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, which saved them from the cold. Although skeptics claim that this only indicates that at that time there was a tropical climate at the South Pole. Paleontologists believe that temperatures on the continent at that time ranged from +20 ° C in summer to -35 ° C in winter, but, possibly, some of the animals were already warm-blooded, which could become a serious event in the history of evolution.