Meet Some Deadly Dinos!

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Ready for a roar-some prehistoric adventure? Then join NG Kids as we meet seven of our favourite dinosaurs!


Name: Tyrannosaurus rex
Lived: 65 million years ago
Size: Up to 12m long
Discovered: USA and Canada
Say it: Tye-ran-oh-sore-us rex

The most famous dino of them all, the T-rex was armed with jaws which remain the most powerful weapon nature has ever created. Its thick, sharp teeth could rip almost 100kg of flesh off its victims in a single bone-crunching chomp!

It was also one of the smartest of the meat-eating dinosaurs with a brain twice as big as those of other giant carnivores. More than 20 almost-complete skeletons have been found, and the most perfect, nicknamed Sue, was unearthed in South Dakota, USA, 20 years ago. Experts together spent more than 25,000 hours restoring Sue’s bones for exhibition. Awesome!

 



Velociraptor

Name: Velociraptor
Lived: 80 million years ago
Size: Up to 2m long
Discovered: Mongolia
Say it: Veh-loss-ih-rap-tore

In 1924, the first velociraptor remains were discovered in Mongolia's Gobi Desert by the American Roy Chapman Andrews – the man believed to be the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character! 

Although small, velociraptors were quite clever and could move very fast (the name means ‘speed thief’), using their long tails for balance as they ran after their tasty prey. These carnivorous creatures hunted in packs, and probably ate mostly small lizards and mammals. They may have even eaten other velociraptors’ babies. Yikes!



Dracorex

Name: Dracorex
Lived: 70-65 million years ago
Size: Up to 3m long
Discovered: South Dakota, USA
Say it: Dray-co-rex

With its long, thick skull, crowned with bony spikes and horns, this plant-eater has caused debate among experts. Some think the fossils found are from a previously unknown animal. Others believe that it died young, and that if it had lived longer, its sharp horns would have grown into deer-like antlers until it became a stygimoloch, an already-known dinosaur. It’s full name is actually dracorex hogwartsia, so it's the only dino to be named after Harry Potter's school!




Argentinosaurus

Name: Argentinosaurus
Lived: 1,000 million years ago
Size: Up to 42m long
Discovered: Argentina
Say it: Ahr-gen-teen-oh-sore-us

Some dinosaurs were taller. Some were just as long. But overall, the argentinosaurus was the biggest, and by far the heaviest, weighing up to 100 tonnes – that’s as much as 20 elephants! Still, it didn’t look so big in the 'monkey puzzle' forests where it lived – these giant trees can grow to 25m tall! But even the planet's most colossal creature wasn't safe from predators. Although being 10 times lighter, mapusauruses, the largest known meat-eating dinosaurs, would hunt argentinosaurus in packs!

 


Nothronychus

Name: Nothronychus
Lived: 92 million years ago
Size: Up to 6m long
Discovered: New Mexico, USA
Say it: Noth-throw-nye-cuss

Discovered just 10 years ago, the nothronychus' distinctive features show scientists that it is related to the therizinosaurus, which lived far, far away in what is now Central Asia! With bird-like hips, a big 'pot belly' and four, forward-turning toes on each foot, it walked – slowly! – on its hind legs, leaving its huge but nimble clawed arms free to tear down branches and plants to eat. It seems this creature has a lot to teach us. Before it was found, experts believed that the area where it lived had been under the sea!



Pentaceratops

Name: Pentaceratops
Lived: 75 million years ago
Size: Up to 8m long
Discovered: New Mexico, USA
Say it: Pen-ta-ser-ah-tops

This hefty, horned herbivore still holds the record for the largest skull of any land animal ever! Measuring 3m long, its spectacular skull featured five horns, as well as a huge 'frill' at the back of its head which may have evolved to protect its neck. Experts believe that the horns were too thin to be much use for fighting off big predators and that perhaps they were more for showing off! Pentaceratops also had a parrot-like beak for chomping through tough plants. Who’s a pretty boy, then?


 


Gastonia

Name: Gastonia
Lived: 125 million years ago
Size: Up to 5m long
Discovered: Utah, USA
Say it: Gas-tone-ee-ah

When it comes to being well-defended, this mighty plant-eater is pretty hard to beat. Weighing in at about a tonne – as heavy as a large car – its body was covered in tough bony plates. Huge spikes up to 30cm long grew from the gastonia’s shoulders, back and along its sides, while thick layers of bone protected its brain and a smooth plate across its hips guarded its spine. On its powerful tail, double rows of jagged barbs lined each side so the animal could lash out at attackers. Nasty!

 



For more dino-mite adventures, check out the National Geographic Kids Dinopedia book, available at Waterstone's and other good book retailers now.


NG Kids Dinopedia

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Maple
This is SO cool! I L<3ve dinos! x
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