When something changes to fit its surroundings or environment, we say it has adapted. The dinosaurs changed and adapted for millions of years before they vanished.


Amber comes from fossilized tree resin. Over time, this sticky substance becomes as hard as a rock. Some of this amber was formed during the time of the dinosaurs.


An amphibian is an animal that lays its eggs in the water. Most amphibians, like the frogs, can live both on land and in the water. Amphibians are cold-blooded animals that have a backbone and rubbery skin.


Ancestors are the people or animals in a family that were born before this generation. You descended from your grandparents and great-grandparents, so they would be your ancestors. The dinosaurs were ancestors of the modern-day reptiles.


Archosaur means “ruling reptile.” Dinosaurs were members of this group of reptiles, which also included pterosaurs and crocodiles. Crocodiles are the only members of the archosaur family that are still living today.


When an animal is carnivorous, it means that he likes to eat meat or the flesh of other animals. Several of the dinosaurs were carnivores, including Tyrannosaurus rex.


The climate of an area is a description of what the weather is like there. The climate that the dinosaurs lived in changed from place to place and from year to year. Sometimes the climate was hot and dry; other times it was wet and cold.


The word cretaceous means having chalk or chalk-like qualities. During the cretaceous time of the dinosaurs, the land was filled with rocks made of chalk or limestone.


Your parent's descendants are their children (including you!) and their children's families. You are a descendant of your grandparents and parents. The dinosaurs also had descendants that they gave birth to.


When you excavate something, you remove it from somewhere. The dinosaurs’ bones are usually excavated from the ground. Sometimes they are found under the water or layers of rock.


When the first dinosaur hunters went to search for dinosaur bones they called the hunt or journey an expedition. Some expeditions still take place every year.


When an animal becomes extinct, it no longer exists or lives on our planet anymore. Dinosaurs, along with many other animals, have become extinct or have vanished from our planet. Some animals are considered endangered, which means they are at risk of becoming extinct.


Fossils are formed when the remains of a plant or animal become surrounded with sedimentary rock that hardens, leaving an image of the plant or animal that once was there.


A geologist is someone who works in the field of geology, which is another word for the study of the earth. Many geologists study rocks and the history of our planet.


An impression is a mark or print left behind on something by an object or animal that was there before. Fossil tracks, like those of the dinosaurs, are one type of impression.


Many rocks discovered in the area of the Jura Mountains, between Switzerland and France, were from an era long in the past. Scientists chose the name Jurassic to indicate the period of time those rocks come from.


A meteorite is a part of a meteor from outer space that enters the earth's atmosphere. Several meteorites have hit the planet. Some people believe that a meteorite caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.


A museum is a place where different things are stored and displayed for others to see and study.


Omnivorous animals like to eat both plants and meat. Most humans are omnivorous and so were many of the dinosaurs. The Oviraptor was an omnivorous dinosaur.


A paleontologist is someone who examines or studies fossils, like those of the dinosaurs. Paleontologists work in the scientific field called paleontology.


Pangaea is the name given to the lands of the earth at the time when they came together to form one continent millions of years ago. The name Pangaea means “all earth.” Scientists have found clues from fossils that show that the dinosaurs existed at this time.


When one animal hunts another animal, the animal that is being hunted is called the prey. Many of the smaller dinosaurs were prey to the larger meat-eating dinosaurs.


Pterosaurs were bird-like reptiles that flew through the air during the time of the dinosaurs. Some of these pterosaurs had wings that spanned up to 40 feet across.


When you reconstruct something, you rebuild it. When the fossil hunters find the many broken pieces of dinosaurs they take them to museums, where workers put them back together or reconstruct them.


A reptile is a cold-blooded animal that usually lays eggs and has a backbone. Most reptiles have a scaly or tough skin. The dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago were reptiles. Snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles are a few other reptiles.

science fiction

When people dream or write about what could be in the world of science, they call it science fiction. A long time ago, the thought of bringing dinosaurs back to life was considered science fiction. Now it could be closer to reality.


Specimens are samples of something. If you wanted to know how a batch of cookies turned out, you could sample one; that cookie would be a specimen. Dinosaur bones are specimens that teach about dinosaurs.


A survivor is one who succeeds in lasting a long time. The dinosaurs survived for millions of years on an ever-changing planet.


Many scientists have theories or ideas about the way that the dinosaurs used to live. When we are unsure about something we are left with theories or guesses.


The word Triassic comes from the word tri, which means “three.” There were three types of rock that were common during this time of the dinosaurs: sandstone, mudstone, and shale. Scientists now refer to this particular time period as Triassic.

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