Top Ten Dinosaurs

Top Ten Dinosaurs

Spinosaurus1Predator X

  1. Spinosaurus
    Spinosaurus (meaning “spine lizard”) is a genus of theropod dinosaur which lived in what is now North Africa, from the lower Albian to lower Cenomanian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 97 million years ago. This genus was first known from Egyptian remains discovered in 1912 and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. The original remains were destroyed in WWII, but additional material has come to light in recent years. It is unclear whether one or two species are represented in the fossils reported in the scientific literature. The best known species is S. aegyptiacus from Egypt, although a potential second species S. maroccanus has been recovered from Morocco. Spinosaurus may be the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, even larger than Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus. Estimates published in 2005 and 2007 suggest that it was 12.6 to 18 m (41 to 59 ft) in length and 7 to 20.9 tonnes (7.7 to 23.0 short tons) in weight. The skull of Spinosaurus was long and narrow like that of a modern crocodilian. Spinosaurus is thought to have eaten fish; evidence suggests that it lived both on land and in water like a modern crocodilian. The distinctive spines of Spinosaurus, which were long extensions of the vertebrae, grew to at least 1.65 m (5.4 ft) long and were likely to have had skin connecting them, forming a sail-like structure, although some authors have suggested that the spines were covered in fat and formed a hump. Multiple functions have been put forward for this structure, including thermoregulation and display.
  2. Predator X
    Predator X
    Predator X is an informal name for a prehistoric marine predator, thought by scientists to be a new species in the pliosaur family. The skull of the predator was excavated in mid-2008 in Svalbard, near the Arctic, by a Norwegian team lead by Dr. Jørn Hurum. It is claimed by researchers to be the “most fearsome animal ever to swim in the oceans.” The remains were discovered in June 2006 during a two-week expedition led by Dr. Hurum of the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. The team found 20,000 fragments of the creature’s skeleton, which is being assembled at the museum. Due to distribution pattern of pliosaurs, scientists believe that the species were cosmopolitan, like some groups of modern-day whales.
    Links: Top Ten Predators, Top Ten Largets Animals,,
  3. Giganotosaurus
    Giganotosaurus is a genus of carcharodontosaurid dinosaur that lived around 97 million years ago during the early Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period. It is one of the largest known terrestrial carnivores, slightly larger than Tyrannosaurus, but smaller than Spinosaurus. Its fossils have been found in Argentina. The name means “giant southern lizard,” derived from the Ancient Greek gigas, meaning “giant,” and notos meaning “south wind” and -saurus meaning “lizard.”
    Links: Top Ten Skulls,,
  4. Tyrannosaurus Rex
    Tyrannosaurus RexTyrannosaurus Rex1
    Tyrannosaurus, meaning “tyrant lizard,” is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning “king” in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is a fixture in popular culture. It lived throughout what is now western North America, at the time an island continent termed Laramidia, with a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 67 to 65.5 million years ago. It was among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small, though unusually powerful for their size, and bore two clawed digits. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus rex in size, it was the largest known tyrannosaurid and one of the largest known land predators, measuring up to 12.3 m (40 ft.) in length, up to 4 m (13 ft.) tall at the hips, and up to 6.8 metric tons (7.5 short tons) in weight. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, although some experts have suggested it was primarily a scavenger. The debate over Tyrannosaurus as apex predator or scavenger is among the longest running in paleontology. More than 30 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, with some scientists considering Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to represent a second species of Tyrannosaurus and others maintaining Tarbosaurus as a separate genus. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.
    Links: Top Ten Skulls,
  5. Tylosaurus
    Tylosaurus (Greek for “protuberance, knob lizard”) was a mosasaur, a large, predatory marine lizard closely related to modern monitor lizards and to snakes. Along with plesiosaurs, sharks, fish and other genera of mosasaurs, it was a dominant predator of the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous. Tylosaurus proriger was among the largest of all the mosasaurs (along with Hainosaurus and Mosasaurus hoffmannii), reaching maximum lengths of 15 meters or more (49+ ft). A distinguishing characteristic of Tylosaurus is its elongated, cylindrical premaxilla (snout) from which it takes its name and which may have been used to ram and stun prey and also in intraspecific combat. Stomach contents associated with specimens of Tylosaurus proriger indicate that this ferocious mosasaur had a varied diet, including fish, sharks, smaller mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and flightless diving birds such as Hesperornis.
  6. Utahraptor

    Although the velacirapto gets the majority of the attention, the Utahraptor was truly king of the raptors. The Utahraptor, meaning “Utah’s predator,” was a genus of theropod dinosaurs, which included the largest known members of the family Dromaeosauridae. Fossil specimens date to the upper Barremian stage of the early Cretaceous period (in rock strata dated to 126 ± 2.5 million years ago). It contains a single species, Utahraptor ostrommaysorum. The largest described U. ostrommaysorum specimens are estimated to have reached up to 7 m (23 ft) long and somewhat less than 500 kg (1,100 lb) in weight, comparable to a grizzly bear in size. Some undescribed specimens in the BYU collections may have reached up to 11 m (36 ft) long, though these await more detailed study.
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  7. Quetzalcoatlus
    File:Life restoration of a group of giant azhdarchids, Quetzalcoatlus northropi, foraging on a Cretaceous fern prairie.pngFile:Quetzscale1.png
    Quetzalcoatlus was a pterodactyloid pterosaur known from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Maastrichtian stage, about 68–66 million years ago), and one of the largest known flying animals of all time. It was a member of the Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks. Its name comes from the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl.
    Links: Top Ten Flying AnimalsTop Ten Largest Animals,
  8. Sauroposeidon

    Sauroposeidon, meaning “earthquake god lizard,” after the Greek god Poseidon, is a genus of sauropod dinosaur known from several incomplete specimens including a bone bed and fossilized trackways that have been found in the US states of Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Texas. The fossils were found in rocks dating from near the end of the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-early Albian), a time when sauropod diversity in North America had greatly diminished. It was the last known North American sauropod prior to an absence of the group on the continent of roughly 40 million years that ended with the appearance of Alamosaurus during the Maastrichtian. Paleoecological analysis indicates that Sauroposeidon lived on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, in a river delta. Extrapolations based on its more completely known relative Brachiosaurus indicate that the head of Sauroposeidon could reach 17 m (56 ft) in height with its neck extended, making it the tallest known dinosaur. With an estimated length of up to 34 m (112 ft) and a mass of 50–60 t (55–66 short tons), it also ranks among the longest and heaviest.
    Links: Top Ten Largest Animals,
  9. Kronosaurus
    Kronosaurus was a 33 ft., 11 ton carnivore that was among the most powerful predators of all time. It had a seven ft. skull with teeth the size of bananas. It roamed the seas of Australia 110 to 98 million years ago.
  10. Godzilla
    The reptile nicknamed Godzilla stretched 13 ft long and roamed the coasts of Argentina 135 million years ago.
  11. Thalassomedon
    Thalassomedon is a genus of plesiosaur, named by Welles in 1943. Greek for thalassa, “Sea lord,” the Thalassomedon could span a massive 40 ft. in length. This genus of plesiosaur occurred in North America about 95 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period. Its closest relative is the Elasmosaurus and together they make up the family Elasmosauridae. There are six specimens of varying state of preservation on display at various U.S. museums.
    Links: Top Ten Skeletons,
  12. Liopleurodon

    Liopleurodon, meaning ‘smooth-sided teeth,’ is a genus of large, carnivorous marine reptile belonging to the Pliosauroidea, a clade of short-necked plesiosaurs. The two species of Liopleurodon lived during the Callovian stage of the Middle Jurassic Period (c. 160 to 155 mya). It was the apex predator of the Middle to Late Jurassic seas that covered Europe. The largest species, L. ferox, is estimated to have grown up to 6.39 m (21.0 ft) in length.
  13. Ticinnosuchus
    Ticinosuchus is an extinct genus of rauisuchian archosaur from the Middle Triassic of Switzerland. Ticinosuchus was about 3 m (10 ft) long, and its whole body, even the belly, was covered in thick, armoured scutes. The structure of the hips shows that its legs were placed under the body almost vertically. Coupled with the development of a calcaneus and a specialized ankle joint, this would have made Ticinosuchus a fast runner, unlike most earlier reptiles.
  14. Velociraptor
    Velociraptor is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period. Two species are currently recognized, although others have been assigned in the past. The type species is V. mongoliensis; fossils of this species have been discovered in Mongolia. A second species, V. osmolskae, was named in 2008 for skull material from Inner Mongolia, China. Smaller than other dromaeosaurids like Deinonychus and Achillobator, Velociraptor nevertheless shared many of the same anatomical features. It was a bipedal, feathered carnivore with a long tail and an enlarged sickle-shaped claw on each hindfoot, which is thought to have been used to kill its prey. Velociraptor can be distinguished from other dromaeosaurids by its long and low skull, with an upturned snout. Velociraptor is one of the dinosaur genera most familiar to the general public due to its prominent role in the Jurassic Park motion picture series. In the films it was shown with anatomical inaccuracies, including being much larger than it was in reality and without feathers. It is also well known to paleontologists, with over a dozen described fossil skeletons—the most of any dromaeosaurid. One particularly famous specimen preserves a Velociraptor locked in combat with a Protoceratops.
  15. Links: Animals, Top Ten Terrestrial Dinosaurs, Top Ten Aquatic Dinosaurs,

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