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DinosaursDinosaurs

Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs

In this special issue of BBC Focus Magazine discover how dinosaurs conquered the world, what would have happened if the asteroid hadn’t hit Mexico, what T. rex really looked (and sounded) like, and the modern-day dinosaurs living in your back yard. INSIDE YOU’LL FIND... -In-depth articles on the latest discoveries -Expert interviews with palaeontologists -Detailed annotated diagrams of all your favourite dinosaurs -A timeline clearly explaining when different species lived

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
welcome...

...to a new age of dinosaurs – the age of discovery. In the last 20 years, about three quarters of all known dinosaur species have been found, and a new species is discovered almost every week. Indeed, dinosaurs are being unearthed at such an incredible rate that I’m half hoping one day I’ll walk out the front door and trip up on what looks like a 2m-long Brachiosaurus bone, only to find that I’ve stumbled on a whole new species. (Bennettosaurus does have a nice ring to it.) The wealth of new specimens are keeping palaeontologists busy – plenty of fodder for all sorts of new theories about what dinosaurs looked like and how they lived. This special issue of BBC Focus Magazine reports on the latest findings, busting a few…

access_time8 min.
earth through the ages

MYA = MILLION YEARS AGO 4,600 MYA FORMATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM A!er the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago) when our Universe was born, it was many billions of years before our Solar System started to develop. Then around 4,600 MYA, a giant molecular cloud, full of hydrogen, began to collapse under the pull of gravity. Most of the molecules fell to the centre to create our Sun, while the remainder flattened out into a spinning disk, out of which the planets (including Earth), moons and asteroids in our Solar System formed. 4,550 MYA EARTH’S FORMATION The solar wind swept away lighter elements like hydrogen, and Earth (along with Mars, Venus, and Mercury) formed as the remaining heavier rocky materials clumped together under gravity. Over time the densest material sank to the centre of the…

access_time7 min.
how dinosaurs conquered the world

The Mesozoic Era – the vast span of time that extended from 250 to 66 million years ago – is famously described as the ‘Age of Dinosaurs’. It was once thought that these mighty reptiles were able to rule the planet due to sheer brute force alone, but a discovery made over 50 years ago of the earliest large dinosaur known, called Herrerasaurus, would turn this idea on its head. Subsequent fossil finds in recent years have added weight to the argument that the dinosaurs didn’t out-muscle rivals to become the dominant force. Indeed, it now seems that their success was nothing more than a fluke. Discovering how the dinosaur age got started has never been an easy task. Species from the Triassic period at the dawn of the Mesozoic have…

access_time2 min.
what if…

The latest evidence shows that the dinosaurs owe their rise to world domination to two extinction events at the end of the Triassic period. But what if these extinction events never occurred? For starters, it’s likely that the croc-line archosaurs would have persisted as top predators. Ironically, this means that the appearance of amphibious, freshwater crocodiles and alligators would have been prevented. The persistence of their ancestors would have le! no ecological niches to fill in swamps and rivers. Dinosaurs and other bird-line archosaurs would have continued to live in the background and would have remained small. The dominance of the croc-line archosaurs would have le! few ecological niches for the dinosaurs to exploit, so many of the species we know to have existed would not have developed. Interestingly, this means that…

access_time2 min.
the dinosaur vs… …the rivals

EORAPTOR (DINOSAUR) SIZE: 1m long DIET: Leaves, buds and small animals ATTACK AND DEFENCE: Mostly relied on speed to escape danger Eoraptor was a typical early dinosaur. Like the dinosauromorphs that were its close relatives, it was a small, slender, long-legged omnivore that would have been in danger of being eaten by big, predatory croc-line archosaurs. Short forelimbs show that Eoraptor was bipedal. It had five slender digits on each ‘hand’ with curved claws on the end of three of them. These claws could have been used in fighting as well as manipulating plants during foraging. Its jaws contained both leaf-shaped teeth as well as re-curved fangs. SILESAURUS (DINOSAUR0MORPH) SIZE: 2.3m long DIET: Leaves, buds, small animals ATTACK AND DEFENCE: Weak bite – mostly relied on running from danger Silesaurus and related dinosauromorphs were slender, long-limbed quadrupeds that avoided…

access_time1 min.
tyrannosaurus rex

With a bite three times stronger than a lion’s, and around 60 saw-edged teeth each measuring up to 20cm long, T. rex could chomp through bone. It hunted some of the largest and most heavily armoured dinosaurs around. But it also scavenged for food – the part of the brain responsible for smell was fairly large, meaning it could sniff out carcasses. Groups of skeletons from close relatives of T. rex have been found, suggesting T. rex might have also hunted in packs. Fossil evidence of bite marks from other tyrannosaurs show they definitely fought one another, competing for food or mates. And there is even some evidence that T. rex indulged in a spot of cannibalism. DID YOU KNOW T. REX COULD RUN AT UP TO 20KM/H (12MPH) – WAY SLOWER THAN…

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