It is probably the most feared animal of all time due to its size and the strength with which it used to hunt its prey. In contrast to other large predators, like Giganotosaurus for instance, the head of Tyrannosaurus was designed to withstand strong forces. The neck was short and muscular, many skull bones were fused, the jaws were deep and robust, and the teeth thick and reinforced by ridges. This is why Tyrannosaurus had an enormous biting force, approximately 10 times higher than an adult alligator.
Tyrannosaurus was a total predator, with a highly developed sense of smell and forward-facing eyes, which meant he had a deep view. This allowed him to appreciate distances correctly. At the time of the attack, his long, strong tail ensured his balance as he ran toward the prey.
Albertosaurus was a two-legged predator with a massive head and dozens of large, sharp teeth. He probably had no natural enemies in the ecosystem in which he lived.
This relative of Tyrannosaurus is known from a paleontological site, where 22 individuals of different ages were found. The youngest individual was 2 years old and 2m in length and the oldest individual was 28 years old and 10m in length. The other individuals were older juveniles, teenagers (at app. 14-16 years of age), and several adults.
This large graveyard is used as evidence for pack behavior in Albertosaurus. For example, the faster juveniles might have driven their prey towards the stronger adults.
This dinosaur was the most powerful predator in North America 145-155 million years ago. It could successfully attack even giant sauropods, giant herbivores like Apatosaurus, Diplodocus or Camarasaurus. Allosaurus may have attacked its prey by surprise, using its upper jaw as an ax.
By counting annual growth rings in its limb bones (like tree rings), we know that Allosaurus has reached an age of up to 30 years, although it started to breed already at 10 years of age.
It is perhaps the best known herbivorous dinosaur. Its rivalry with Tyrannosaurus is probably the most interesting in the animal world. Triceratops is built perfectly to defend itself, its horns, bone collar and weight made it impossible to attack him directly from the front.
Healed wounds on the face and frill of Triceratops suggest that two rivals crossed their horns and tried to push each other backwards to fight for females or territories. This is similar to the way deer use their antlers today. Ram-like crashes are rather unlikely in Triceratops because its snout was too fragile and the horns would have caused deadly wounds too often.
Ankylosaurus is the most famous, the largest, and one of the last known among the armored dinosaurs. Rows of bony scutes were aligned along its neck, back, and tail, where smaller scutes protected the space between the large ones. The last seven tail vertebrae were fused and supported the large bony cannonball at the end of its tail. Ankylosaurus could swing that club against the legs of Tyrannosaurus to defend itself.
This small predator was, like Deinonychus, a member of the sickle clawed dinosaurs, which all had an enlarged claw on the second toe of their foot. Velociraptor was smaller than Deinonychus and had an elongated skull with a snub nose. Its long tail was stiffened and its arms were covered with feathers. Velociraptor was a fast and agile predator, which could have preyed on equally-sized dinosaurs, such as Protoceratops.
The best known specimen was discovered in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, Velociraptor being caught fighting a Protoceratops.
Only a single, badly preserved skeleton of Oviraptor is known, but many of its better represented close relatives show that it was also completely covered in feathers. The eggs underneath the skeleton were surprisingly its own and not its last meal as was assumed for a long time. Oviraptor and its relatives were actually quite often found in a breeding position on their nests. Not even the deadly sand - storms could drive them off their nests.
Diplodocus is well known for its very long neck and tail. The young Diplodocus looked slightly different. Its neck and tail were shorter and the snout was more rounded and had teeth in the sides of the jaws, too. The snout shape shows that young Diplodocus were very selective, eating only nutritious plants, whereas adult Diplodocus fed on everything they could strip off.
Diplodocus had a very long tail, composed of 80 vertebrae. It is probably the longest tail of all time.
Hatzegopteryx is a giant representative of the pterosaurs (flying reptiles contemporary to the dinosaurs). It is probably the largest flying creature ever lived. Hatzegopteryx represents a paradox within the “dwarf dinosaur fauna” in the Haţeg Basin. Its wing-span (10 – 12 m) was larger than the length of the largest dinosaur from Hateg (Magyarosaurus - 6 meters). Contrary to its size, the weight of the body was not so big, due to the empty leg bones, as in birds, while the other parts of the skeleton had an expanded polystyrene structure which diminished the weight.
It is said that Hatzegopteryx could fly around the Earth without stopping.
Seismosaurus was an enormous, long-necked, whip-tailed, small-headed sauropod dinosaur. It measured about 39-52 m long and was roughly 5.5 m tall (measured from the ground to the top of the shoulder). May have weighed about 30 tons and it was among the longest land animals that ever lived. Some paleontologists think that Seismosaurus may be a very large example of the genus Diplodocus and not a separate genus.
Some paleontologists think that Seismosaurus may be a very large example of the genus Diplodocus and not a separate genus. Seismosaurus had a very small head and mouth. Its front legs were shorter than its back legs, and all had elephant-like, five-toed feet. Its short legs may have helped stabilize this enormous dinosaur. One toe on each foot had a thumb claw, probably for protection. Its backbone had extra bones underneath it, which had bony protrusions running both forwards and backwards, probably for support and extra mobility of its neck and tail.
It is said that Seismosaurus could cause a small earthquake at every step.