DinosaurBIPEDALISM
A form of terrestrial (land) locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs, or legs. An animal that usually moves in a bipedal manner is known as a biped, meaning “two feet”.

CARNIVORE
An animal that feeds chiefly on the flesh of other animals.

COLD BLOODED
Animals that rely upon the outside temperature to regulate their body temperature

CRETACEOUS
145 – 65 million years ago

DINOSAUR
Literal meaning is “Terrible Lizard”. Dinosaurs, which lived millions of years ago, were one of several kinds of prehistoric reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era.

EVOLUTION
Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of a new species

EXTANT
Still alive, not extinct.

EXTINCT
The ceasing to exist of a species of living organism, such as a plant or animal, whose numbers declined to the point where the last member of the species died and therefore no new members of the species could again be born. Species become extinct when they are unable to adapt to changes in the environment or compete effectively with other organisms.

FOSSIL
Fossils are the remains of any living thing, which has been buried in the ground, replaced by minerals and turned to stone. A fossil can be from either animals or plants, so it doesn’t have to be a hard part of the body like bone. In fact, the fossils that are sometimes the most important are of things the animal leaves behind such as footprints, skin prints and faeces. These are called trace fossils and scientists can learn many important things about behaviour, form and diet.

HERBIVORE
An animal that feeds chiefly on plants.

JURASSIC
200 – 145 million years ago

MAMMAL
Any of a class of warm-blooded higher vertebrates that nourish their young with milk and have the skin usually more or less covered with hair – includes humans.

MASS EXTINCTION
The process in which huge numbers of species die out suddenly. The dinosaurs (and many other species) became extinct, possibly because an asteroid hit the earth.

MESOZOIC ERA
This Era (“The Age of Reptiles”) occurred from 250-65 million years ago. It is divided into the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. Dinosaurs, mammals and flowering plants evolved during the Mesozoic Era.

NATURAL SELECTION
A process whereby natural traits (those that increase the chance of survival and reproduction) become more common in a population while harmful traits become increasingly rare. This occurs because individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce, resulting in more individuals of the next generation inheriting those traits.

ORNITHOPOD
Bird hipped dinosaurs – all of which were herbivores.

PALEONTOLOGIST
A scientist who works with the life of past geological periods as known by fossil remains.

PTEROSAUR
“Winged Lizards” had an elongated fourth finger that supported a membranous wing. First evolved in the latter third of the Triassic Era and survived until the end of the Cretaceous. These animals were not dinosaurs but were closely related to both dinosaurs and crocodiles.

QUADRUPEDALISM
A form of animal locomotion using four limbs or legs. An animal that usually moves in a quadruple manner is known as a quadruped meaning “four feet”.

REPTILES
Any class of air-breathing scaly bodied vertebrates that include the alligators and crocodiles, lizards, snakes, turtles and extinct related forms (such as dinosaurs and pterosaurs). Reptiles lay eggs which are fertilized internally.

SAUROPOD
Lizard hipped/footed dinosaurs, all of which were herbivores. Very large dinosaur with a long neck and tail, small head and massive limbs.

TRIASSIC ERA
250 – 250 million years ago

THEROPOD
Beast footed dinosaurs, all of which were carnivores.