*Post may contain affiliate links
I don’t know about you but I come from a girly family and until I had boy children, I had never had a single conversation about dinosaurs (lucky me) that didn’t involve Land of the Lost. Now I have 2 boys and dinosaurs are one of the only things we ever freaking talk about. Here are some basic facts about dinosaurs for other moms in my dinosaur-ignorant situation. This is the least you can get away with knowing and survive #lifewithboys.
Mom’s Dinosaur Cheat Sheet
1. Scientists who study dinosaurs are called Paleontologists. But if you ever watched “Friends,” you already know that.
2. The word dinosaur comes from the Greek language and means “terrible lizard.” The word was coined by English paleontologist Richard Owen in 1842.
3. Dinosaurs ruled the earth for over 160 million years – during the Mesozoic Era (from 240 million – 65 million years ago). That era is divided into 3 periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.
4. The first dinosaur to be formally named was the Megalosaurus, back in 1824. He looked like this: RAWR!
6. Dinosaurs didn’t die out immediately because of one giant event. Scientists think that either a massive meteor or huge volcanic activity caused clouds of dust to block out the sun for ages after. Eventually, the lack of sunlight caused the earth’s vegetation to die, which caused the plant-eating dinosaurs to die which in turn caused the meat-eating dinosaurs to die. It’s all about having nothing to eat. And this process may have taken up to 200,000 years. Mind blown.
7. I always thought dinosaurs could be put into one of two categories. Scary and ugly. No, just kidding – meat-eaters and plant-eaters. But according to dinosaur eggheads, they really should be categorized by either lizard-hipped or bird-hipped. But here’s what’s strange. Oddly enough, birds evolved from lizard-hipped dinosaurs. Try that piece of trivia out at your next dinner party. But only if it’s with your boys and you’re having mac and cheese.
8. Birds are descended from small, feathered dinosaurs so their continued survival is about the closest we get to modern day dinosaurs. Not very scary anymore, are they? Unless you’re one of those people freaked out by pigeons.
9. Despite my thoughts that only a few types of dinosaurs ever existed (based solely on my love for Land of the Lost), there were actually thousands of different kinds. Some tiny, some even bigger than a McMansion like this guy above. Here is an excellent list of dinosaurs from A-Z. Now you’re gonna tell me there were more than one type of Sleestak.
10. Some plant-eating dinosaurs (like Stegosaurus) had brains so tiny compared to the rest of their bodies that they must have been only slightly smarter than your common houseplant. But predatory dinosaurs had slightly more gray matter, since they needed better-than-average sight, smell, agility and coordination to hunt down prey. (Let’s not get carried away, though–even the smartest dinosaurs were only on an intellectual par with modern ostriches, nature’s D students.)
You can dig for fossils and if you see a dinosaur foot, that means a dinosaur lived there. After that, you dig up all the fossils then build them and put them in a museum.
If the Tyranosaurus Rex was alive, he would eat us up because they like meat. If the human ran away, the T Rex would be right on top of him because he was very fast.
The most awesome dinosaur is the Triceratops. (If he does say so himself)
Meat-eaters eat plant-eaters because plant-eaters are slow sometimes and meat-eaters are fast. Most plant-eaters have flat teeth but the meat-eaters have sharp teeth.
Join me on my pinterest board dedicated to Raising Boys for loads of stuff about these crazy things we call sons.