Fun Dinosaur Facts for Kids

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Children are very interested in dinosaurs. They’re intrigued by these gigantic creatures which roamed the earth millions of years ago. If you have a child who is fascinated with dinosaurs, then chances are your child has already asked you some questions about them. You may have also done your own research on the topic and have answered these questions as well as you can but there are still things you don’t know.

So are you ready for some fun dinosaur facts for kids? You’re about to find some interesting facts you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs - from T. rex’s famous eating habits to the enormous sizes of Apatosaurus.

Here are some of the most interesting universal facts about dinosaurs that you may not be aware of.

  • The term dinosaur was coined by Sir Richard Owen in 1841. It comes from the Greek words deinos which means terrible, powerful or wondrous and sauros which means lizard.

  • The Chinese considered dinosaur fossils to be dragon bones and they used unearthed fossilised dinosaur bones for use in traditional medicines.

  • For many years, Europeans thought of dinosaur bones as remains from mythical and biblical creatures.

  • Dinosaurs roamed the Earth longer than any other terrestrial creatures. They lived between 250 million years ago and 65 million years ago. This era is known as the Mesozoic Era and is divided into 3 periods - Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. They were believed to have gone extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period.

  • The reason why dinosaurs became extinct is still a subject of scientific debate. Many scientists believe that an event or events like a huge volcanic activity or massive asteroid impact could have changed the Earth’s ecology which led to the extinction of dinosaurs.

  • Some dinosaurs were bipedal while others are quadrupedal. There are a few dinosaur species that can shift between these two stances.

  • The appearance of dinosaurs have changed radically over the years. They were thought to have scales like reptiles but recent studies show that some of them were covered in feathers like birds.

  • Some dinosaurs were carnivores (meat eaters) while others were herbivores (plant eaters). Some of the largest dinosaurs like the Apatosaurus were actually herbivores.

  • In 1676, Robert Plot correctly identified a bone as femur of a large creature. The bone actually belonged to a Megalosaurus. However, Robert Plot thought the bone belonged to a giant human or Titan.

  • Interestingly, pterodactyls are not actually dinosaurs. They belong to an extinct group of winged reptiles called pterosaurs. They flew using their wings with their front limbs stretched out to the sides.

  • Similarly, dimetrodons are often mistaken for dinosaurs. They predated dinosaurs actually belong to a group of mammal-like reptiles informally known as pelycosaurs.

  • Many scientists believe that birds descended from theropods which is a type of dinosaur.

  • Arguably the most popular dinosaur species is the Tyrannosaurus Rex or known colloquially as T-Rex. The name Tyrannosaurus Rex comes from both Greek and Latin words which loosely translate to Tyrant Lizard King. They roamed in the island continent called Lamidia, what's now North America.

Next Up: What Are the Best Dinosaur Toys?