Questions and Answers for Kids
What is evolution?
Evolution is scientific theory which explains how animals adapt to survive. The world is much different now than it was during the time of the dinosaurs and it is constantly changing. What science tells us is that some animals are well adapted to survive these changes while others are not. For instance, as a habitat gets colder, the animals that cannot survive in cold will die out and those with the ability to stay warm will survive. Those that aren't able to adjust to these changes go extinct like most dinosaurs. Most scientist believe that some of the meat eating dinosaurs, known as theropods, survived the extinction that killed all the other dinosaurs. These dinosaurs had the right adaptations to survive and have continued to change into the birds that we see today.
Why did dinosaurs die out?
Most scientists believe that a comet from space crashed into the earth about 65 million years ago. It created a massive explosion and changed the climate around the world. Many types of animals, dinosaurs included, were unable to adapt to the sudden change. This was not the first extinction of its kind or the largest. Millions of years before the dinosaurs, there was another extinction event around 252 million years ago that killed most of the living things on earth.
Why were dinosaurs so big?
This question is one which no one really knows the answer to. It is likely that dinosaur evolution was like that of other animals and that the plant eating (herbivorous) dinosaurs grew large as a result of the plant life around them. The meat eating (carnivorous) dinosaurs grew larger in order to eat the herbivores. While some dinosaurs were some of the largest animals to ever live, some such as the famous Velociraptor were no bigger than a human child!
What was the biggest dinosaur?
Paleontologists (scientists that study fossils) are constantly discovering new dinosaurs, so no one is sure which dinosaur was the largest to ever live. We know that the biggest type of dinosaurs were the long-necks, known as sauropods. The tallest on record is the Sauroposeidon which was almost 60 feet tall (18 meters)! The largest dinosaur of all may have been Argentinosaurus at 130 feet long (40 meters) and weighing over 50 tons. The largest carnivore was Spinosaurus at around 50 feet long (14 meters) and weighing over 10 tons. The largest remaining dinosaur is the flightless bird, the Ostrich
What color were dinosaurs?
Scientists do not know what color dinosaurs really were. Studies of preserved dinosaur skin may change this, but for now it is anyone's guess. It is likely that some dinosaurs had skin to camouflage, or blend into their surroundings, just like modern animals. Some may have had bright colors to attract mates. Scientists now believe that many dinosaurs were covered in feathers just like modern birds. These feathers were not good for flying so their use was probably for managing body temperature or as displays for other dinosaurs.