Eoraptor Lunensis (‘Dawn Plunderer of the Valley of the Moon’)
Lived: The late Triassic period.
Size: 1 meter and 10 kilograms.
Eoraptor is a likely close ancestor of both theropods (like the T-rex!) and Sauropodomorphs (like Plateosaurus!), but scientists still debate as to which group better fits this tiny omnivore. Unlike it’s predatory descendants, it lacks a sliding joint in its lower jaw and it possesses both carnivore-type and herbivore-type teeth. It would use its claws and teeth to maul its prey.
Oviraptor Philoceratops(“Egg Thief” and “Lover of Ceratopsians”)
Lived: The late Cretaceous period.
Size: 2 meters and 30 kilograms.
The Oviraptor P. was derived from the discovery of its fossils near what was considered to be a nest of Protoceratops eggs. However, it is now believed that the nest, in fact, belonged to the Oviraptor itself and the condemning name only sullies the good image of this small Mongolian (motherly) theropod. Further studies shows that its beak was used to crack mollusks (not eggs!) and its body was covered in feathers.
Size: 8.5 meters long and 1,700 kilograms (perhaps larger still!).
This piscivore (fish-eater) had a rather crocodilian snout, containing 96 teeth (definitely did not draw that many teeth), which was optimum for fishing. The claw on its thumb measured 25 centimeters and it was used to sweep up its prey similar to the manner of a grizzly bear.
The Leaellynasaura was found in Australia which was located in the Antarctic circle during the Cretaceous period. The long dark winters would explain why this dino developed relatively large eyes and good eyesight. Its tail was about three times the length of its body.
This dinosaur was among the last large dinosaurs, along with the Tyrannosaurus Rex, to live on the earth. I like to think about what it would be like if even just one dinosaur, maybe a nice Edmontosaurus, had survived in their ancient forms. It’s a herbivore with a toothless, duckbill-shaped mouth that could switch between bipedal and quadrupedal movement. More than likely, these dinosaurs traveled in herds.
Deinonychus is named for the large sickle-like claw located on both hind limbs. The similarities between the Deinonychus and birds is what led paleontologists to make the link between dinosaurs and their modern counterparts.
The name, Torosaurus, refers to the two large holes found in the fossil of the frill around the skull. Quite recently, it have come under debate as to whether the Triceratops, perhaps the most well-known ceratopsian, is just a juvenile Torosaurus. As of 2011, there is an article published arguing that the two are indeed separate but closely related species.