Age of Dinosaurs

tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops

Welcome to Age of Dinosaurs! is a new site about dinosaurs, the history of the Earth, the ice age, dinosaur news, fossils, and more. We are are new site so we are starting out kind of small, but we will be adding new content on a regular basis.

Dinosaurs are fascinating animals and many were some of the largest animals to ever live on Earth. On this site you'll learn about what made dinosaurs grow so large, extinction theories, new fossil evidence, and much more.

What We Know About Dinosaurs (and what we don't know)

What we know about dinosaurs comes from fossils, which are the remains of a past organism that has been preserved in the Earth's crust.

insects in an amber fossil

Fossils can often give us a good idea of what prehistoric life was like and what kind of animals lived then. There are even fossils of dinosaur footprints and from these paleontologists can determine how fast an animal probably moved. They can even determine if animals were solitary or social animals based on whether other animals are found near them.

However, the fossil record for every organism is incomplete. There are thousands and thousands of past species that we have no fossil record of and so we don't know anything about their existence.

Another problem with fossils is that the fossils themselves are often incomplete and so determining what the rest of an animal was like based on an incomplete fossil is a difficult task.

Sometimes paleontologists get lucky and find whole organisms fossilized in amber, such as the insects in the photo above.

dinosaur fossil

Sometimes nearly complete fossilized skeletons of dinosaurs are found, such as the two dinosaur fossils on this page.

The reason I mention the incomplete fossil record is because there is still so much we don't know about dinosaurs and prehistoric Earth. Because of this there are many controversial theories and I'll go over a few of them below.

Are Dinosaurs Warm-Blooded or Cold-Blooded?

Paleontologists can't agree on whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded animals, such as mammals and birds, or cold-blooded animals, such as fish and reptiles. This is important, because if dinosaurs were warm-blooded then they would have been able to move much quicker than if they were cold blooded. Also, the remains of dinosaurs have been found all over the world, which might indicate they were warm-blooded, or perhaps it is possible that the Earth was just much warmer then and there were no cold areas. At the moment there is no definitive answer on this question because it is difficult to determine an animal's metabolism from fossils.

Are Birds Modern Day Dinosaurs?

Archaeopteryx fossil

There is also a debate on whether or not birds are direct descendents of dinosaurs. If dinosaurs were warm-blooded they would have this in common with birds. In addition, many dinosaurs were bipeds (walking on 2 feet instead of all 4) like birds. There are even dinosaurs found with bird-like beaks.

One piece of evidence that suggests dinosaurs and birds are closely related is a fossil of a half-bird / half dinosaur like animal. This animal is known as an Archaeopteryx and could represent the missing link between dinosaurs and birds.

There are many questions about dinosaurs and prehistoric Earth that may never be solved, but the question as to whether birds are descended from dinosaurs may some day be solved. A T. Rex fossil containing intact dinosaur DNA was found and once the sequencing results are in we may be able to determine how closely related dinosaurs are to birds.

Are Any Dinosaurs Still Alive?

Other than the possibility that birds are modern-day dinosaurs, it is widely believed that all dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years. However, some people believe that the Loch Ness Monster may be a dinosaur-like creature that survived extinction when all of the other dinosaurs died out.

Find out more on this theory here:
Is the Loch Ness Monster a Dinosaur?