Portal:Dinosaurs

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The Dinosaur Portal

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Introduction

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Dinosaurs are animals that dominated terrestrial environments for more than 160 million years, first appearing approximately 230 million years ago. They were extremely varied, abundant and have been found preserved on all seven modern continents. At the end of the Cretaceous period, approximately 66 million years ago, a catastrophic extinction event ended the dinosaurs' dominance on land. However, since birds are theropods the clade dinosauria still survives in great diversity and abundance. The term "dinosaur" is sometimes used mistakenly to describe other prehistoric animals, such as the synapsid Dimetrodon, or reptiles like pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs. Since the first dinosaur fossils were recognized in the nineteenth century, mounted dinosaur skeletons have become major attractions at museums around the world and have amassed a large fan base among children and adults alike. They have been featured in best-selling books and films such as Jurassic Park, and new discoveries are regularly covered by the media.
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Life restoration of Gorgosaurus.

Gorgosaurus (meaning 'fierce lizard') is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in western North America during the Late Cretaceous Period, between about 77 and 74 million years ago. Fossil remains have been found in the Canadian province of Alberta and possibly the U.S. state of Montana. Paleontologists recognize only the type species, G. libratus, although other species have been erroneously referred to the genus.

Like most known tyrannosaurids, Gorgosaurus was a bipedal predator weighing more than a metric ton as an adult; dozens of large, sharp teeth lined its jaws, while its two-fingered forelimbs were comparatively small. Gorgosaurus was most closely related to Albertosaurus, and more distantly related to the larger Tyrannosaurus. Gorgosaurus and Albertosaurus are extremely similar, distinguished mainly by subtle differences in the teeth and skull bones. Some experts consider G. libratus to be a species of Albertosaurus; this would make Gorgosaurus a junior synonym of that genus.

Gorgosaurus lived in a lush floodplain environment along the edge of an inland sea. An apex predator, it was at the top of the food chain, preying upon abundant ceratopsids and hadrosaurs. In some areas, Gorgosaurus coexisted with another tyrannosaurid, Daspletosaurus. Though these animals were roughly the same size, there is some evidence of niche differentiation between the two. Gorgosaurus is the best-represented tyrannosaurid in the fossil record, known from dozens of specimens. These plentiful remains have allowed scientists to investigate its ontogeny, life history and other aspects of its biology. (see more...)

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Dromaeosaurus skull.

Dromaeosaurus skull mounted at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris.

Photo credit: User:LadyofHats

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Topics

Dinosaur-related topics - Dinosaur - Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event - Dinosaur-bird connection - Dinosaur classification - Evolution of dinosaurs - Feathered dinosaurs - List of dinosaurs - Paleontology - Physiology of dinosaurs
Locations - List of dinosaur-bearing rock formations - List of fossil sites - Como Bluff - Coon Creek Formation - Dinosaur Cove - Dinosaur National Monument - Dinosaur Park Formation - Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum - Glen Rose Formation - Hell Creek Formation - Lance Formation - Morrison Formation - Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite - Two Medicine Formation
Paleontologists - Mary Anning - Robert T. Bakker - Barnum Brown - William Buckland - Edward Drinker Cope - Jack Horner - Gideon Mantell - Othniel Charles Marsh - John Ostrom - Dong Zhiming
History - List of years in paleontology - Bone Wars - Dinosaur Renaissance
Popular culture - List of dinosaur parks - Cultural depictions of dinosaurs - Jurassic Park - Jurassic Park (film) - Raptor Red
Alternative Theories - Creationist perspectives on dinosaurs - Living dinosaurs
Featured dinosaur articles - Acrocanthosaurus - Albertosaurus - Allosaurus - Archaeopteryx - Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards - Bone Wars - Chicxulub crater - Compsognathus - Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event - Daspletosaurus - Deinonychus - Dinosaur - Diplodocus - Edmontosaurus - Edward Drinker Cope - Gorgosaurus - Herrerasaurus - Iguanodon - Lambeosaurus - List of dinosaurs - Majungasaurus - Massospondylus - Parasaurolophus - Plateosaurus - Psittacosaurus - Stegosaurus - Styracosaurus - Tarbosaurus - Thescelosaurus - Triceratops - Tyrannosaurus - Velociraptor
Good dinosaur articles - Abelisauridae - Alioramus - Amphicoelias - Ankylosaurus - "Archaeoraptor" - Balaur - Carnotaurus - Ceratopsia - Coelurus - Cultural depictions of dinosaurs - Dromaeosauridae - Gryposaurus - Heterodontosauridae - Hypacrosaurus - Hypsibema missouriensis - Kritosaurus - Othnielosaurus - Pachycephalosaurus - Prosaurolophus - Rajasaurus - Saurolophus - Sauropelta - Scelidosaurus - Sinosauropteryx - Species of Allosaurus - Spinosaurus - Tyrannosauridae - Tyrannosauroidea - Vulcanodon

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Current Dinosaur FACs - Dromaeosauroides - Nigersaurus

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