Do You Know These Amazing Dinosaur Facts?

John Miller

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Long before Homo sapiens ever stomped through the forest and plains, dinosaurs ruled the Earth. These creatures had all sorts of amazing attributes. How much do you know about these fantastic dinosaur facts?

What does the word "dinosaur" mean, anyway?

The word dinosaur means terrible lizard. Some of them were truly terrible beasts that would've torn humans to shreds. Others were probably downright cute.

How were most dinosaurs born?

Most dinosaurs were hatched from eggs. They were born into a perilous world teeming with countless forms of dangerous predators.

What was likely one of the most notable traits of the Tyrannosaurus rex?

The T-Rex was equipped with jaws that were, in some cases, about four feet long. Those jaws were paired with powerful muscles meant to crush and rip prey to pieces.

The T-Rex had jaws that were nearly four feet long. How big were its individual teeth?

The T-Rex is easily one of the most fearsome predators in history. And those 10-inch teeth were one reason why.

The Tyrannosaurus rex had cute little _____.

For all of its fearsome traits, the T-Rex had cute little forearms. The surprising part? Those little arms were actually pretty powerful and lent the creature an extra weapon for seizing and tearing prey.

What was an incredible fact about the Brachiosaurus?

The Brachiosaurus was discovered in 1903 in North America, and at more than 60 tons, it was one of the heaviest dinosaurs ever. It had a skinny neck that made it about four stories tall.

The little Lesothosaurus was the size of a _____.

The Lesothosaurus was the size of a chicken, with a lithe body matched to skinny little legs. It's lower jaw may have been extremely bird-like, with a beak instead of teeth.

True or false, are there more dinosaur species waiting to be discovered?

Budding paleontologists take heart, there are likely plenty of dinosaur species waiting to be discovered. Researchers think there are hundreds of new species of dinosaurs still unknown to humankind.

What's special about the Eoraptor?

The Eoraptor is one of the earliest known dinosaurs. It roamed the Earth about 230 million years ago, far early than hundreds of species that followed.

Dinosaurs are classified into which group of animals?

Dinosaurs were reptiles. They were a diverse group that included both warm- and cold-blooded creatures, some of which ate only plants, and others that ate anything that they could grab with their teeth and claws.

How many different dinosaur species have scientists named?

So far, scientists have named several hundred types of different dinosaurs. They range from bird-sized to building-sized. Exact numbers are difficult to pin down, in part because some scientists can't agree on how to categorize some species.

The Sauroposeidon was probably the tallest dinosaur ever. How tall was it?

The Sauroposeidon was an incredibly tall creature, perhaps the tallest ever to roam the Earth. The largest specimens topped 110 feet, taller than many apartment complexes.

For about how long did dinosaurs reign supreme over the Earth?

For about 160 million years, dinosaurs were the masters of Mother Earth. However, most of them died out about 65 million years ago.

What does the name Tyrannosaurus rex mean?

The "T-Rex" is one of the most famous dinosaurs of history. It was likely a ferocious predator of many different animals, one reason it's called the tyrant lizard.

Compared to other dinosaurs, the Troodon had a relatively large ____.

The Troodon has a reputation as being one of the smarter dinosaurs due to its relatively large brain in relation to its body size. But researchers say it was still only as smart as a chicken.

True or false, was the gigantic Brachiosaurus a cold-blooded creature?

At first, scientists thought the Brachiosaurus was a cold-blooded animal. But more recent research declares this monstrous, 60-ton plant-eating machine to be a warm-blooded creature.

What caused most dinosaurs to become extinct?

Scientists aren't sure exactly what killed off most dinosaurs. Many suspect that increased volcanic activity or a huge asteroid impact may have caused climate changes that exceeded the animals' ability to adapt.

True or false, do scientists currently use the name Brontosaurus for one species of huge dinosaur?

Brontosaurus was a dinosaur species for a while, then scientists decided to lump it in with the Apatosaurus ... and then, a couple of years, Brontosaurus made a triumphant comeback. So yes, there are now four recognized species of Brontosaurus.

The Stegosaurus is extremely memorable due to which characteristic?

The Stegosaurus had rows of upright plates on its back. It also had a wicked spiked tail that was likely used for defensive purposes.

True or false, were the largest dinosaurs mostly meat-eaters?

The biggest dinosaurs, such as the Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, weighed many, many tons. But they didn't put on that weight with steaks and Cheetos -- they mostly ate just plants. Salad, anyone?

The Titanosaurus was so big that it weighed as much as 10 _____.

The Titanosaurus was yet another enormous dinosaur. It weighed about 90 tons, or as much as 10 African elephants.

The Mamenchisaurus was about 100 feet long, but it grew quickly. How long did it take to reach maturity?

The Mamenchisaurus was over 100 feet long, but like many dinosaurs, it grew at an amazing pace. It needed about 30 years to reach its enormous proportions.

The Stegosaurus was around 30 feet long and 14 feet tall. It had a brain the size of a _____.

The herbivorous Stegosaurus was an enormous beast that weighed about five tons. Suffice it to say, its lime-sized brain didn't contribute that much heft.

From nose to tail tip, how long were some of the biggest Tyrannosaurus rex specimens?

As if their four-foot jaws weren't scary enough, the biggest T-Rex specimens were about four stories long. It's one reason we should be glad that dinosaurs are extinct.

The Supersaurus was "super" for what reason?

It's hard to fathom the size of some of these creatures. The Supersaurus was about 110 feet tall and weighed dozens of tons. The first fossils weren't discovered until 1972.

What was special about the eyes of the Troodon?

Like modern-day birds of prey, the Troodon had binocular vision. Those advanced eyes helped the little critter hone in on (and then eat) smaller creatures.

The Nemicolopterus crypticus was a tiny pterodactyl, a flying dinosaur. How wide was its wingspan?

The Nemicolopterus crypticus is one of the smallest known dinosaurs. It had a wingspan of just 10 inches. The flying creature had curved digits that helped it grab onto tree branches.

The Stegosaurus was a heavyset creature that weighed several tons. Its maximum speed was probably how fast?

It's a good thing that the Stegosaurus had some serious armor and a spiked tail, because it definitely couldn't run away from predators. It's top speed was probably 5 mph.

The Argentinosaurus huinculensis has the honor of bearing which title?

The Argentinosaurus huinculensis was fantastically huge. It was around 130 feet long, and some specimens may have weighed around 100 tons -- heavier than some jumbo jets.

Many illustrations portray dinosaurs with leather skin, but many were equipped with ______.

Many dinosaurs had what are called protofeathers, which were a bit like a coat of hair rather than actual feathers. It's likely that some dinosaurs had fully-developed feathers.

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