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Two dinosaurs and a bird-sized


insect

Prehistric animals from


Q to S
1752

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PROBACTROSAURUS
MEGANEURA MAJUNGATHOLUS

1729

1732 1733
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Discover the world of prehistoric creepy crawlies in

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BACK COVER

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1734

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A parade of PREHISTORIC 1742 MEAT-EATERS


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A herd of Probactrosaurus crosses a ooded stream I738

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Were meat-eating dinosaurs the ancestors of birds? Find out in

YSIA $lllGAPORf, MALA

BIRDS AND DINOSAURS

1744

Gasosaurus get ready to attack an Omeisaurus family 1740

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STRUTHIOMIMUS DAY INTHE

HISTORY IN PIC'I'I.IRESl
LIFE OF
1748

IAtl'r.rr.IIL' =
1.

DINOSAURS! is published by Orbis Publishing Ltd Grifn House 161 Hammersmith Rd London W6 85D 1994 Orbis ? ' lishing EDITORIAL & DESIGN Tucker Slingsby 3G'London House 66-68 Upper Richmond Rd
London SW15 QRP

'

l-

More fascinating facts and the

weekly quiz

1750

N73 94 O8 25 ISBN 0 7489 1673 3

Printed in Italy by Ofcine Grache De Agostini, Novara

PROBAOTROSAUR!/S
Probactrosaurus was China's version of the famous dinosaur, lguanodon.
s long as an elephant, Probactrosaurus was a peaceful planteater. It
probably enjoyed the lush vegetation that grew in marshy, lowland areas and scooped up great mouthfuls of ferns and horsetails as it stood quietly browsing. Probactrosaurus looked very like its relative, Iguanodon. Some scientists think they might even have been the same dinosaur.
low-growing shrubs and shoots were scarce, Probactrosaurus could browse on leaves on high branches. It stood with its head thrust forward and its back and tail held straight to avoid breaking its stiffened tail bones.
HEAD FIRST 1'6 W a s a great adVaI1tage for 61 P1aI1t-atI" to be able to rear up on its hind legs. When

ALWAYS HUNGRY Probactrosaurus had a big body and an appetite to match. Its long, at head had a snout like todays horse. It snapped off shoots with its toothless beak, pulping them

with rows of broad cheek teeth. With one bite Probactrosaurus could ll its mouth with
a large amount

of
food.

LONGER AND
STRONGER , Probactrosaurus Young

became longer an stronger. VVhen fully grown, Probactrosaurus walked on four legs rather than two. Its feet were tipped

dinosaurs a

..

by hoof-like claws for


extra strength.

Long, horse-like
snout

Probactrosaurus had a fairly large head with a long snout, rather similar in shape to that of today's horse. This plant-eater had a toothless beak, but its tightly packed ridged cheek teeth quickly dealt with the shoots and leaves it lived on.

NO PLACE TO HIDE Probactrosaurus was not as nimble as the gazelle-like dinosaurs. Nor was it protected by heavy body armour or sharp horns like some plant-eaters. So what did it do when attacked by
V

erce predators?

Probactrosaurus had tightly packed cheek

Toothless
lm

FIGHT BACK Experts think that iguanodontids could ght back. As a large predator lunged towards it, Probactrosaurus probably reared up to its full height and struck out with a claw. With deep cuts to its eyes, spiked face or neck, the predator would have hurried away to nurse its wound
ON PATROL Probactrosaurus also ha weak, old and younlg In family. It probablygshafed responsibilty by lingin gr? Dinosaurs too sfhall orfeeblle t stayed in the centre of the h their bigger, stronger relati guard around the edge watchdogs raised th as there was any sign 6 V.
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6m

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1730

that iguanodontids had hoofs on their hands?

Yes... but not on every tinger. Dr David Norman showed that the middle three tingers ot an iguanodonrids hand had broad, attened

hoots tor walking on. Its rst tinger was a stabbing spike, and its titth Finger was long and slender, more like a real tinger.

0 NAME: Probactrosaurus (pro--troh-gyms) means beFore


Bacfrosaurus

0 SIZE: 6m long 0 FOOD: plants 0 LIVED: about 100 million years ago in the
Mid Cretaceous Period in China

GROUP: dinosaur

When low-growing plants were scarce, Probacrrosaurus could rear up and reach leaves that grew

on high

branches.

BABY CARE Like the hadrosaur Maiasaura, Probactrosaurus m a y have nu laid eggs in large nesting sites. Here the hatchlings could be cared for in the safety of a group until they were old j ;A enough to be able

'_to fend for


A

themselves.

1731

The largest-known ying insect, Meganeura, was as big as a parrot.

ME GAMEI/RA
PAWS
O NAME: /vleganeura (g-ah-Ew-ra) means 'big-veined'
GROUP: insect SIZE: 70cm wingspan FOOD: small insects LIVED: about 300 million years ago in the Late Carboniferous Period worldwide

his amazing insect hovered like a giant dragony above the lakes and swamps. Carboniferous mosses and ferns grew on the wet ground and the rst amphibians were crawling on to the land.

WINGED WONDER
Meganeura ew gracefully in and out of trees and shrubs looking for smaller insects to eat. It had two pairs of wings and one pair could ap while the other stayed still. Meganeuras wingspan was three times the width of fa " this page.
D E

9%
I=LYir*g<; VFOVOD
Q.
,

l<--70cmj>l

have tried to snatch the insect frgjomii. the air with its large jaws. 51:
E

MAJ!/NGATlI0l.US
Maiungafholus was a rare island-dwelling dinosaur with cl high-c|omec| head.
nly a small part of this pachycephalosaurs domed head has been discovered. It W a s found in Madagascar, an island off the coast of East Africa, in 1979. Until that time, pachycephalosaurs had only been found in northern parts of the World. Majungatholus was the rst thickheaded dinosaur to be found so far south.

it-ll

O NAME: Majungafholus

(mah-yoon-ga-@-Ius) means dome from

Maiunga GROUP: dinosaur SIZE: 1_4m long FOOD: pbms LIVED, about 70 mime years ago in Madagascar

POOR RELATIVE Little Majungatholus was much smaller than most of its relatives. It was only onesixth of the size of Pachycephalosaurus, the biggest family member, but these dinosaurs had many things in common.

L V

C!

HERD PREFERRED

Majungatholus was a planteat*er and probably

moved around in herds. About the .4: size ofal

we

beasts
The success story of insects and other invertebrates began hundreds of millions of years ago.
rom ants to dragonies and millipedes to scorpions, our ~ planet teems with wriggling, scuttling life. These invertebrates (animals Without backbones) were successful from the start. Some of them, like the cockroach and the dragony, were so well designed for their life on Earth that they have hardly changed in 300 million years.
'.

The name millipede means thousand feet.


In fact, most millipedes have between I00 and I 50 feet.
p

Invertebrates were the rst creatures on land. The earliest invertebrates were called arthropods. They resembled todays millipedes and certain other insects. The arthropods fed on the leaves, stems, juicy sap and seed-like spores of early plants.
SPINELESS CRAWLERS Some experts think that the earliest invaders of the land were tiny insect-like creatures, but

FIRST ON LAND

C,

*2

fossil evidence supports the idea that the rst land animals were millipedes, Which later gave rise to the insects. Most millipedes today munch on bits of living and dead plantsf This ts with the picture of millipedes
chomping on the early land plants.

1734

found in ancient Silurian rocks in Britain. More convincing fossils of millipede bodyparts were found in the Old Red Sandstone rocks of Rhynie, Scotland. These are
from the Devonian Period, about 408-362 million
years ago.

WEE BEASTIES Some possible millipede fossils have been

MONSTER MILLIPEDE

'During the Carboniferous Period,

millipedes grew bigger. Euphoberia, which lived in North America and Europe, was = much smaller than Arthropleura. In fact, at 2m long, Arthropleura was one of the biggest arthropods of all time. This giant, at millipede left impressive fossil footprints on sandbanks. Despite its size, Arthropleura was a plant-eater and lived on the rotting vegetation of the Carboniferous forest oor.
i
'

LOTS OF LEGS Centipedes are cousins of millipedes. They a r e fast movers and they have poisonous fangs for killing their prey. They hunt worms, slugs, woodlice and similar minibeasts. The biggest centipedes are

around 30cm long. Latzelia was one of the earliest, a Carboniferous terror that hunted smaller animals.
Forests during the Carboniferous Period (362-290 million years ago) were lled with millipecles,
centipedes and scorpions.

Insects evolved wings during the Carboniferous Period. Mayies and dragonies (below) were the rst ying insects.

SCARY SCORPIONS

Palaeophonus was a Silurian scorpion With large pincers and the usual sting in the tail. Some Devonian scorpions were enormous at almost 1m long. Cyclophthalamus was a Carboniferous scorpion from eastern Europe.
THE START OF THE SPIDERS

The rst spider Art_hrolycosa appeared a Period. It was in the Carboniferous


hand-sized spider with eight long legs, eight sharp eyes, and poisonous fangs. About 20 kinds of fossil spider have been found from the Carboniferous Period.
INSECT SUCCESS

THE HUNTERS ARRIVE

The rst land animals were a good source of food. It was not long before predators evolved to hunt them. Scorpions a r e carnivores that have hardly changed since they rst appeared on Earth. Scorpions entered the primitive forests because there was something for them to eat there the millipedes. Otherwise, the early scorpions could have hunted in the Water and simply rested on land.

Insects have been incredibly successful, almost since their rst appearance in the Devonian Period. Today, there a r e so many insects it is impossible to count them all. The rst insects were small and Wingless, like the springtails and bristletails of today. Rhyniella was a 1cmlong insect that lived idecaying plants.

on

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AMBER TREASURE Flies and other insects and spiders have been fossilized in amber. Thousands of amber-preserved specimens have been found in Bolivia, South America, and around the Baltic coasts ofnorthern Europe. European amber, which is about 20-30 million years old, has been found with ies and earwigs trapped in it.

Bojophlebia, Which was a mayy with a Wingspan of 45cm. Protodiamphipnoa, a buttery-like insect, lived in the Carboniferous Period, too. It had eye-spots on its wings to make it look like a large amphibian, and so frighten off predators.
RIGHT FIRST TIME Cockroaches also arrived very early. The cockroach Moravamylacris is the most

TIME OF THE GIANTS The dragony lookalike, Tttpus, was a giant ying insect from Carboniferous times. Its fossils were found in a coal mine in England. Another giant was

H$tiI?$#ii$iE$~i&' common invertebrate fossil found in Carboniferous rocks. Cockroaches have FIRST TO FLY hardly changed in 300 million years. Insects evolved Wings and took to the air during the Carboniferous Period. The mayy and dragony insect groups were the rst to y. Since then, almost all insect groups have included some members that
.

1737

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All these animals ate meat. Whether they were huge carnivores with teeth like steak knives or birds with sharp talons, they hunted in order to survive.

killed for food or lived on the remains of

sea or ew through the air. But they all

hese prehistoric animals had Very different lifestyles; they Walked on land, swam in the

dead animals.

NAME: Euparkeria GROUP: reptile SIZE: Im long LIVED: Early Triassic

NAME: Dimetrodon GROUP: mammal-like reptile SIZE: 3m long LIVED: Early Permian

NAME: Diatryma GROUP: bird SIZE: 2m tall LIVED: Eocene

NAME: Clacloselache

GROUP: sh SIZE: 1.2m long LIVED: Late Devonian

NAME: Cynognathus GROUP: mammal-like reptile SIZE: 2m long LIVED: Early-Mid Triassic

NAME: Smilodon
GROUP: mammal SIZE: 2m long LIVED: Pleistocene

NAME: Deinogalerix GROUP: mammal SIZE: 35cm long LIVED: Miocene

NAME: Diplocaulus GROUP: amphibian


SIZE: 80cm long

LIVED: Early Permian

NAME: Archaeopteryx GROUP: bird SIZE: 30-60cm long LIVED: Late Jurassic

1742

NAME: lchthyostega GROUP: amphibian SIZE: Im long LIVED: Late Devonian

NAME: Henodus GROUP: marine reptile SIZE: Im long LIVED: Late Triassic

NAME: Hallucigenia GROUP: possibly velvet worm SIZE: 3cm long

LIVED: Mid Cambrian

NAME: Anomalocaris GROUP: unknown SIZE: up to 60 cm long LIVED: Cambrian

NAME: Dunkleosteus GROUP: sh SIZE: up to 9m long LIVED: Devonian


V
I

NAME: Hylonomus
GROUP: reptile SIZE: 20cm long

LIVED: Late Carboniferous

if .X '1
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V17! V

|-

KEY
PERMIAN PERIOD:

290-245 MYA
/Ma: "/:1Z

Fm

NAME: Queizalcoatlus tile (Pterosaur) GROUP: :1 SIZE: wingcpgnrelelm LIVED: Cretaceous

GROUP: arthro od SIZE: 2.3m longp LIVED: Silurian

NAME: Pterygotus

TRIASSIC PERIOD: 245404 MYA


JURASSIC PERIOD

204440 MYA
CRETACEOUS PERIOD:

I40-66 MYA
TERTIARY PERIOD:

NAME: Xiphactinus GROUP: sh

NAME: Morganucodon GROUP: mammal

Palaeocene Epoch 66-56 MYA Eocene Epoch 56-35 MYA Oligocene Epoch 35-23 MYA Miocene Epoch 23-6 MYA Pliocene Epoch 6-2 MYA
QUATERNARY PERIOD:

LIVED: Cretaceous

LIVED: Triassic

1743

Birds and dinosaurs


Many scientists now believe meat-eating dinosaurs were the ancestors of birds.

MISSING LINK

or more than 100 years, experts have thought that irds are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs. But it is only in the last 20 years that they have claimed dinosaurs actually gave rise to birds 150 million years ago.
FIRST FEATHER

Archaeopteryx was very birdlike, but it had reptilelike features, too. It had three claws on its Wings, spiky teeth and a long, bony tail. Many scientists believed Archaeopteryx was the missing link that proved which group of reptiles evolved into birds.

33
s

REPTILE RELATIONS

Scientists agreed that birds did evolve

The earliest known bird is


Archaeopteryx, Which lived 150 million years ago. The rst evidence of Archaeopteryx was a single, beautifully

from reptiles. They have many things in common. Both lay shelled eggs and todays birds
have scaly skin on their legs and
feet.

preserved feather found in a limestone quarry in southern Germany in 1861. Soon


afterwards, quarry workers discovered a

complete feathered skeleton nearby.

Most scientists are

n o w convinced that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

about which group of reptiles was the ancestor of todays birds. Some believed modern birds were descended from the archosaurs, a very general group of reptiles, which evolved 340 million years ago. Others claimed ancient crocodiles, which lived more than 200 million years ago, Were the L; true ancestors.
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ARGUING EXPERTS Experts could not agree

believe that A"~'heP9"YX


(b?'_Wl f" '"5'9 ""k

Some experts

"

zfmveen IHOSCUFS, SUCh


as Deinonychus (above), and birds.

GIANT BIRDS :~ Dinosaurs and birds have been linked for a long time. The rst dinosaur footprints were discovered in 1802. They looked so birdlike that experts believed they must have been made by giant birds. When scientists discovered Archaeopteryx, they
V
I

found

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more like a

feathered dinosaur

.. \

was enough to convince many of them that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

than a bird. That evidence

VITAL PROOF
that Archaeopteryx
COUH I10? HY?

Experts agree that ll probably could not ilap energetically into the sky like most modern birds. Instead, it might have used its wings to y steadily along, or glide down from the trees. Or perhaps to ilutter upwards, briey, from the ground.

'

Ostrom, produced even more convincing evidence. He did it by studying all the Archaeopteryx fossils that had been found. Professor Ostrom discovered SO many similarities between Archaeopteryx and some of the smaller meat-eating dinosaurs, he claimed there could no longer be any doubt that dinosaurs were the ancestors of birds.

In the 1970s an American professor, John

1745

SPOTl'lNG
THE LINKS

What could a prehistoric bird and a erce, meat-eating dinosaur possibly have in common? A lot more than you might think! Scientists have found amazing similarities between the skeletons of Archaeopteryx and the dinosaur Deinonychus. Follow the clues to nd out what they were.

The most
important clue lay in the wrists and / hands. Both creatures had three long, clawed ngers. _ And, even more importantly, they must have moved them in just the same way. Archaeopteryx and Deinonychus each had a special moon-shaped bone in the wrist. It meant they could swivel the hand and grip with the ngers very precisely.
Scientists thought this Archaeopteryx skeleton (top) was a meat-eater called
Compsognathus (right).

fiblll

Deinonychus had a strange lower

_ ME
/
A

shoulderblade bone. It was quite different from those of other dinosaurs. But it was just the same as that ofArchaeopteryx. Scientists believe the oddly shaped bone meant that the breast muscles were extra strong.

Ms E
BIRD BLUNDER
For nearly 20 yea rs, one Archaeopteryx skeleton was thought to be a dinosaur skeleton. The fossil was wrongly identied as Compsognathus because it looked so

like the small, meat-eating dinosaur.

1746

Archaeopteryx evolved into the birds we see

today, such
as the pigeon (left).

Tr y to nd all the

similarities between this Deinonychus skeleton and the Archaeopteryx skeleton.

The hind le s and feet of Archaeopteryx and Deinonychus were Very alike. Both had long, slim back legs. And they each had a short rst toe, Which pointed backwards. Many modern "~ birds have a rst toe like this.
;
'

GOT IT! These are just some of the clues that convinced many scientists that birds a r e the direct descendants of dinosaurs. Deinonychus W a s so like Archaeopteryx that some experts have even suggested

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that this dinosaur might have had feathers, too. But not everyone agrees.

Deinonychus and Archaeopteryx also shared a peculiar hip bone. No other meat-eater had one like it.

1747

HISTORY IN PICTURES

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imagine the scene in Miocene Nebraska, USA. Aherd of rhinoceroses is quietly grazing. Suddenly, a volcano erupts, spitting out massive amounts of hot ash. The herd is overcome by the ash and the rhinoceroses collapse and die. Ten million years later, scientists discovered their skeletons, beautifully preserved by the hot ash.

as
QUETZALCOATLUS

Que. .031,

75 MYA Discovered in 1971


and named after an Aztec god, Quetzalcoatlus (l<let-zal-co_21tlus) was a gigantic meat-eating pterosaur. It lived in Texas, USA, in the Cretaceous Period and was the largest ying creature known so far. Although only part of its vast wing has been found, experts think that Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan as wide as a tennis court. Like a small aircraft it soared in the air and cast a terrifying shadow across the land.

SCAPHONYX

200 MYA

and

Scaphonyx (sca-f()_n-ix) was a sheepsized reptile that lived in South Africa Brazil in the Mid Triassic Period. It gathered seeds in its hooked beak and crushed them with at cheek teeth.

R
RHYNIELLA
The rst known Wingless insect, Rhyniella (1"i_n-ee-e_l-a) was as small as your ngernail. It was a springtail, a creature that lives in soil and ips into the air when it is startled.

Scaphonyx scratched up roots with its clawed feet. Scaphonyx means trough-shaped claw.

400 MYA SCUTOSAURUS

260 MYA

Scutosaurus (s-toh-sza1_w-rus) lived in Russia in the Late Permian Period. As long as a small car, it stood on four pillarlike legs and ate plants with its small, saw-edged
teeth. Body armour on i t s back and spikes on its head protected Scutosaurus from its

Rhyniella crawled around on six short legs.

Along with many other tiny creatures, Rhyniella was probably killed when nearby volcanoes erupted.

It lived in the Devonian Period in Rhynie, enemies. Its name means shield reptile. Scotland. The Rhynie Chert was a rock formation that was once the margin of a 20,000 YA shallow pond which teemed with animal life. SIVATHERIUM

\ "

Sivatherium (s-vah-thee-ree-um) was a giraffe-like animal that lived in South Africa and Asia in Pleistocene times. Male Sivatherium grew two pairs of horns. One pair was long and branched and Sivdtherium probably used them in contests

with other males.

MYA = MILLION YEARS AGO

YA =YEARS AGO

"

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PICTURE CREDITS: Front cover: Graham Rosewarne. |GDA 1737; Natural History Museum, London 1732, l 746 TR, i746 BR, 1751; NHPA 1734 TR, i736, 1737, 1744 EL, TR; David Norman 1730; Peabody Museum oi Natural History 1746-7; Dr Peter Wellhoier 1745 L;Zoological Society of London 1747 TL. Artwork: Black Hat 1752; Mike Dorey 1748/9; Erin

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Dr David Norman ofCambridge


University answers your dinosaur questions
/ - 4
a

Can you tell which

which particular fossil

dinosaur produced
dropping?

go

shorter front legs always than its hind legs.


he main reason is that the back legs are the ones that provide all the walking power. The large tail muscles, which move the legs, are attached to the back legs. The second reason is that most of a dinosaurs Weight is carried through the hips to the back legs - because of the tail, there is more weight at the back of the body.

Why are a dinosaurs

A fossil dropping is called a coprolite. In order to tell which dinosaur produced a particular coprolite, we would need to nd a well-preserved dinosaur with coprolites in its digestive system. So far, this has not happened.

How would weknow if dinosaurs

had hair orfeathers?

We would only know for certain under exceptional conditions. Hair and feathers tend to drop off or rot before fossilization has time to begin. We were able to prove

dinosaurs?

Were there any ant-eating

that Archaeopteryx had feathers because the impression of a skeleton and its feathers was found preserved in mud. The few impressions We have of dinosaur skin show it to be the scaly covering

Ant or termite-eaters usually have long sticky tongues, long snouts and few teeth. We have not found a dinosaur that ts this description so it is unlikely that dinosaurs

because termites and


ants are E nutritious, and

ate ants or termites. This is puzzling

typical of
reptiles.

that termites lived at the same time as dinosaurs.

know from fossil records


We

A",A:.n-...'

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