NBCNews.com

The ancient reptiles classified as dinosaurs have been captivating our minds for hundreds of years, as they are a part of evolution and the history of planet earth. Everything that we know about them comes from the information learned from the fossils that have been discovered all around the world, and our knowledge keeps growing. Every year palaeontologists discover more and more fossils.

Countries all around the world have teamed up to provide funding for research and excavation in order to continue to find these buried treasures, that so graciously provide us with a look into the past. It’s not only the bones that we gain insight from but surprisingly, fossilised dino feces actually provide us with most of what we know about their diets–along with their teeth of course.

Dinosaurs came in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each had specialized traits that help them survive for over 165 million years. Scientists believed that an extinction event killed about 95% of life on Earth around 201 million years ago, and all the dinosaurs had been extinct–until recently. Newly discovered fossils suggest that birds are actually descendants of feathered dinosaurs, meaning they’re technically still alive.

We’ve been living with dinosaurs this whole time and you’re probably just now realizing it, and in which case I suggest you read on to learn some more interesting and shocking facts about these ancient reptiles. You may think you know everything there is to know about these beasts, but the truth is, we discover new facts almost every day…

 

30. The Timeline

Image: visual.ly

Dinosaurs were alive on this planet for an extremely long time before their extinction and scientists estimate it lasted for 180 million years. The era has been coined as the Mesozoic and it began 245 million years ago. It consists of three periods called the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.



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