Which is your favorite sauropod dinosaur
Profile dinosaurs: weapons, size, speed
Probably the most popular dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, had dagger-like teeth that were six inches long. Chunks of meat up to a meter high fit into its open mouth. Even so, the tyrannosaurus was perhaps not the most feared animal in the Mesozoic. Because when attacking the prey, the claws probably played an even more important role than the teeth.
Perhaps the most dangerous predatory dinosaur was the Utahraptor, a dinosaur that is seven meters long and two meters high, actually smaller. But this birdlike predator had a deadly weapon. The Utahraptor's middle toe had a sickle claw up to 40 centimeters long, with which it hunted its prey. He was also very quick.
The herbivores were by no means at the mercy of the dangerous predators. The triceratops could defend itself with three horns, one short over the nose and two over a meter long over the eyes. The skull bone, which was several meters long and spread out like a shield, also kept his neck free.
The best armored dinosaurs were probably the ankylosaurs, up to nine meters long. In some species, their full-body armor even covered the eyelids.
The ankylosaur shell was built on the same principle as a bulletproof vest. It consisted of bone plates into which an extremely stable mat made of staggered layers of tissue was incorporated. The ankylosaurs were also able to defend themselves actively. Their tail ended in a bony club with which they could presumably deal violent blows.
Not all dinosaurs had extravagant tools of attack and defense. The gigantic, herbivorous sauropods were given sufficient protection by their size alone. One of the largest specimens was the Brachiosaurus - 22 meters long and weighing around 40 tons.
The reason for the "unrestrained" growth has not yet been fully clarified. The decisive factor was probably not only protection from predators, but above all diet.
The giant growth is not a special achievement of the dinosaurs. Other animal species have also reached a considerable size. The trunk of an elephant or the extinct giant rhinoceros, for example, is almost comparable to that of a sauropod.
However, the sauropods had exceptionally long necks and tails. They were so-called Hochweider and, with their ten-meter-long necks, they also had leaves up to 14 meters high.
The gigantism of some dinosaurs had another advantage: the giants could store their body heat better. In the sun they did not overheat as quickly as smaller animals and when the temperature dropped they only cooled down very slowly.
Many dinosaur researchers suspect that many larger dinosaurs, especially the giant sauropods, were warm-blooded animals. So you could regulate your body temperature yourself. This allowed them to be active around the clock and eat and grow in the process - unlike the reptiles living today, which usually have to warm up to a certain temperature in the sun.
A disadvantage of the size was the enormous weight, which in turn affected the amount of food required and the bone structure. In order to provide enough energy for the gigantic organism, the dinosaurs had to eat huge amounts of leaves. In addition, the gigantic body required an extremely stable skeleton.
Many dinosaurs were neither large nor particularly well equipped and had different survival strategies. Some lived off their speed and agility and were more likely to be a race than an arms race with their predators or their prey.
The fastest were likely lightly built, bird-like dinosaurs. The Velociraptors hunting in packs could probably reach 60 kilometers per hour, while the ostrich-like Gallimimus ("chicken imitators") and Ornithomimus ("bird imitators") perhaps even reached top speeds of 70 to 80 kilometers per hour.
SWR | Status: 08/10/2020, 10:49 am
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