By John P Rafferty
Dinosaurslarge or small, rapaciously carnivorous or timidhave captured the imaginations of kids and adults alike because the first fossil discoveries mapped them onto our normal physique of data. This e-book trips to an period lengthy prior to people, the place dinosaurs have been as soon as masters of land, sky, and sea. as well as bills of vital dinosaur species and their extinction, readers will know about the key existence kinds, either plant and animal, along whom dinosaurs dwelled, in addition to the geographical and environmental elements that affected their subsistence.
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Additional resources for The Mesozoic Era: Age of Dinosaurs (The Geologic History of Earth)
Remains were found of the small predator Compsognathus containing a tiny skeleton of the lizard Bavarisaurus in its stomach region. In Mongolia two different dinosaur skeletons were found together, a nearly adult-size Protoceratops in the clutches of its predator Velociraptor. , contained bones of several half-grown Coelophysis, apparently an early Mesozoic example of cannibalism. Fossilized feces (coprolites) from a large tyrannosaur contained crushed bone of another dinosaur. , were mixed with fragmentary bones of a much larger victim, the herbivore Tenontosaurus.
Their discoveries then required detailed description and analysis, followed by comparisons with other known dinosaurs in order to classify the new finds and develop hypotheses about evolutionary relationships. These pursuits continue, but newer methods of exploration and analysis have 45 7 The Mesozoic Era: Age of Dinosaurs 7 been adopted. Emphasis has shifted from purely descriptive procedures to analyses of relationships by using the methods of cladistics, which dispenses with the traditional taxonomic hierarchy in favour of “phylogenetic trees” that are more explicit about evolutionary relationships.
Seeley established the two dinosaurian orders and named them Saurischia (“lizard hips”) and Ornithischia (“bird hips”) in 1887. This differentiation is still maintained. As in all four-legged animals, the dinosaurian pelvis was a paired structure consisting of three separate bones 60 7 Overview of the Mesozoic Era 7 on each side that attached to the sacrum of the backbone. The ilium was attached to the spine, and the pubis and ischium were below, forming a robust bony plate. At the centre of each plate was a deep cup—the hip socket (acetabulum).