Prehistoric creatures By VISHAL KANHAIYA 1By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012
LifeLife on Earth started around 3.8billion years ago and has sinceevolved and diversified throughthe process of natural selectionto be adapted to almost everyenvironment possible. Thereare currently an estimated 1.9million animals, plants, andother forms of life on Earth.Life can be found in every nookand cranny/niche of the globe,from the extremeenvironments of deep seahydrothermal vents and thefreezing conditions of the polarregions to the lush habitatsfound at the equator.Looking back through time, bymeans of the fossil andphylogenetic record, we cansee that the Earth has beenhome to many more speciesthan are alive today. Taking ahistorical perspective showsthat life is constantly evolving,with the success anddominance of different groupswaxing and waning over time. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 2
History of life on EarthThe history of life on Earth began about 3.8 billion years ago, during the Archean era, initially withsingle-celled prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria. Multicellular life evolved over a billion years later andits only in the last 570 million years that the kind of life forms we are familiar with began to evolve,starting with arthropods, followed by fish 530 million years ago (Ma), land plants 475Ma and forests385Ma. Mammals didnt evolve until 200Ma and our own species, Homo sapiens, only 200,000 yearsago. So humans have been around for a mere 0.004% of the Earths history.Tree of lifeWith the publication of On the Origin of Species by meansof Natural Selection on the 24th November 1859, Charles The centre represents the last universal ancestor ofDarwin not only explained how and why we have the all life on earth, the outer branches the majordiversity of life we see all around us, but also showed how biological groups.all life is connected. The tree is based on research carried out by: DavidSince then we have continued to gather evidence from a Hillis, Derrick Zwickl and Robin Gutell from therange of different disciplines including physiology, University of Texas. It is based on analysis of smallbiochemistry and DNA analysis. The evidence indicates thatsub-unit RNA sequences sampled from about 3,000all organisms on Earth are genetically related, a species from throughout the Tree of Life.genealogical relationship that can be represented as anevolutionary tree known as the Tree of Life.The Tree of Life illustrates how different species arise fromprevious species via descent with modification, and that allof life is connected. The diagram above shows therelationship between the major biological groups. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 3
Archelon (ARK-eh-lon)This giant turtle could live to100 years old, possibly thanksto taking long sleeps on theseabedType: ReptileSize: 4.6mDiet: OmnivorousPredators: Mosasaurs and sharksLived: Late Cretaceous, 75-65million years agoArchelon was a slow mover and found most of its food drifting near the sea surface. It had littleneed to dive deep except when hibernating on the seabed. It was an omnivorous grazer,sweeping up drifting fish, jellyfish and dead carrion as well as plants. Its sharp, powerful beakcould break open shelled animals such as ammonites.Its huge flippers suggest it was a long distance swimmer happiest in the open ocean. It wouldnever be alone, as its huge size attracted a squadron of hangers-on such as juvenile fish as wellas barnacles and parasites. It couldnt withdraw its head or flippers inside its bony shell forprotection so, despite its size, it was an easy target for large predators.Like modern turtles, it laid eggs by burying them in sandy beaches under cover of darkness. Its 4nearest living relative is the worlds largest turtle, the By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 leatherback.
Arsinoitheriu m (aars-in-oh-ith-EAR-ee-um)Non-stop eating for this gentlegiant of Eocene mangroveswamps.Type: MammalSize: 1.8m high at the shoulderDiet: HerbivorePredators: CreodontsLived: Late Eocene and earlyOligocene, from 36 to 30 millionyears ago.Its most distinctive feature was the two large horns on their snouts. The horns were hollow andpossibly used to produce loud mating calls as well as to compete with rival males. It was a heftycreature with thick, hairless skin resembling elephant hide.It was very selective in the types of fruit and leaves it ate. Its size meant it had to eat a lot offood - it probably spent much of its day chewing on something.It lived in small groups and would have been in the water most of the time. It couldntstraighten its legs, suggesting they were better for wading and swimming than for walking. Itslarge size kept it safe from most predators, although creodonts might tackle a young By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 5Arsinoitherium.
Coelursaur (See-LUR-oh-sawr)Coelurosaurs are some of the mostprimitive of all the dinosaurs. It isfrom them that we getTyrannosaurus and other giant meat-eaters.Type: Primitive theropodSize: 2-3m longDiet: CarnivorePredators: Large land reptiles like PostoschusLived: Mid Triassic to Early Jurassic, 230-200 millionyears ago.Around 230 million years ago the first dinosaur fossils started to be found in places such as South America,Madagascar and Europe. These dinosaurs were much smaller than their later descendents and can be divided intotwo groups: The prosauropod dinosaurs, which are the primitive vegetarian forerunners of sauropods such asDiplodocus, and the more common coelurosaurs which were two-legged meat-eaters that would later evolve intogiants such as Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus.The Triassic coelurosaur dinosaurs were small, nimble and built tosurvive in the harsh Triassic landscape. Unlike many of the four-legged lumbering reptiles around them, thecoelurosaurs could use their two legs to travel at speed and to manoeuvre themselves out of dangerous situations.Their light skulls, long snout and flexible necks were ideal for hunting small animals such as insects, amphibiansand other reptiles but the They could also live by scavenging when times were hard.The arrival of these dinosaurswas a landmark in evolution. They quickly evolved into newer and larger species and spread themselves aroundthe globe until, by the start of the Jurassic period, the dinosaurs dominated the land. These helped found adynasty that produced the largest and most feared land predators of all time. After the giant extinction event of 65million years ago the only Earthly legacy of the dinosaurs are the birds which split from the coelurosaur dinosaurssometime during the Late Jurassic period. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 6
BasilosaurusScientific name:BasilosaurusRank: GenusCommon names:king lizard A pair of the early whales known as BasilosaurusBasilosaurus ("King Lizard") is a genus of cetacean that lived from 40 to 34 million years ago in the Late Eocene. Itsfossilized remains were first discovered in the southern United States (Louisiana), and were initially believed to besome sort of reptile, hence the suffix -"saurus", but later found to be a marine mammal. Richard Owen wished torename the creature Zeuglodon ("Yoked Tooth"), but, per taxonomic rules, the creatures first name remainedpermanent. Fossils from at least two other species of this taxon have been found in Egypt and Pakistan.Basilosaurus averaged about 18 meters (60 ft) in length, and is believed to have been the largest animal to havelived in its time. It displayed an unparalleled degree of elongation compared with modern whales. Their very smallvestigial hind limbs have also been a matter of interest for paleontologists. The species is the state fossil ofMississippi and Alabama in the United States. They lived in the Eocene epoch.Basilosaurus fossils were first discovered in Louisiana, USA in the 1830s. Believed to be giant reptilian seamonsters, they were named Basilosaurus, or king lizards. Later, they were shown not to be reptilian but gigantic,ancient whales. They were more elongated than modern whales and had a pair of small legs, that could have beena hangover from their terrestrial ancestry. A large number of fossils of these marine predators has been found todate, leading to the conclusion that Basilosaurus were common By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012of the time. in the warm shallow seas 7
Cymbospondylus (sim-bow-spon-DEE-lus) Type: Marine reptile Size: 10m long Diet: Carnivore Predators: Few, if any, predators once fully grown Lived: Late Triassic, 240-210 million years ago. A powerful dolphin-like swimmer whose sharp teeth ruled the Triassic seas.It was an early member of the Icthyosaur group, which looked slightly like modern dolphins.It had no dorsal fin and its tail was long like an eels.Its long tail made it a powerful swimmer, it patrolled in deep offshore waters looking for prey.It had a skull 1m long with short, sharp teeth good for grabbing quite large reptiles but it favored fishand cephalopods such as ammonites. These appears to have given birth to live young as it had no wayto lay eggs. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 8
Dunkleosteus (dunk-lee-OWE-stee-us) Speedy, powerful and happy to eat most things - this was the creature to avoid, 360 millionType: Placoderm fish years ago.Size: 8 to 10mDiet: CarnivorePredators: Probably noneLived: Late Devonian, 370-360 million yearsago.It looked like the violent brute it was: powerfully built and armour-plated round its head. It was streamlined andshark-like. It lacked true teeth, instead it had two long bony blades that could snap and crush almost anything.Pigment cells suggest Dunkleosteus had dark colors on its back and was silvery on its belly.This fish was anything but picky with its food. It ate fish, sharks and even its own kind. And it seems that It sufferedfrom indigestion as a result: its fossils are often associated with regurgitated, semi-digested remains of fish. It mayhave been one of the earliest animals to exist as male or female, meaning that pairs of fish had to mate physically. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 9
Elasmosaurus (eh-LAZZ-mo-SAW-rus)A dinosaur of the seas which swam thousandsof miles and could surprise its prey thanks to anincredibly long neck.Type: PlesiosaurSize: 15m longDiet: CarnivoreLived: Late Cretaceous, 85-65 million years ago.A bizarre creature whose body was dwarfed by its long, thin neck and tail, Elasmosaurus swam using fourflippers.It was a carnivorous hunter which used its long neck to get close to prey without them noticing. Aswift flick of the neck could catch them unawares. Its small head limited the size of what it could eat.Elasmosaurus spent all its time in the water, often cruising coastal waters for shoals of fish. It wouldoccasionally dive down to the seabed in shallow areas to find rounded pebbles. In its stomach, these aideddigestion and provided ballast.Elasmosaurus travelled long distances to find mating and breeding grounds.There is evidence it may have given birth to live young which it reared until they were old enough to lookafter themselves. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 10
Giant Mosasaur (JY-ant MOES-ah-SAWR) A group of supreme killers that had few enemies, except for each other.Type: Marine reptileSize: Up to 17m in lengthWeight: maximum 20 tonnesDiet: CarnivorePredators: Probably noneLived: Late Cretaceous, 85-65 million years ago.The mosasaurs were one of the success stories of the late Cretaceous period. The largest known mosasauris Hainosaurus, which could reach 17 metres in length. Giant mosasaurs were the top predator in the seaand were widespread across the world.Much of their day would have been spent swimming slowly near theseabed looking for suitable prey to attack. Their diet consisted of slow moving animals like ammonites,birds and turtles but they would also tackle larger and swifter prey, such as sharks and plesiosaurs, whenthe opportunity arose. As the mosasaurs were not fast swimmers they would have stalked their prey usingnatural cover provided by seaweed and rocks. Only when the prey was within striking range would themosasaur propel itself forward. Being caught in a mosasaur’s jaws meant almost certain death.Although giant mosasaurs were the top predators in the sea, they were still vulnerable to attack. Onemosasaur fossil bears the marks of a shark bite in its spine. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 11
Giant orthocone (OR-thoe-cone)Type: Cephalopod molluscSize: Up to 11m longDiet: CarnivorePredators: Giant orthocone was the top predator ofits timeLived: Late Ordovician and early Silurian, 470-440million years ago. 460 million years ago, the biggest animal on Earth was a jet-propelled cone with tentacles.The giant orthocones living tissue was at one end of a very long conical shell. It had no fins and no tail.Along the underside of the cone ran a flexible, fleshy tube. The orthocone moved along by forcing waterout in the opposite direction to where it wanted to go. It controlled its vertical position by adjusting theamount of seawater in the chambers of its shell. Its mouth and metre-long tentacles emerged from oneend of the shell.It ate fish as well as arthropods, eg sea scorpions. It seized its prey using its tentacles andbeak-like mouth to rip apart. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 12
Halisaurus (HAL-i-SAWR-uss)Type: Marine reptileSize: 3-4 metres in lengthDiet: CarnivorePredators: Other mosasaursLived: Late Cretaceous, 85-65 million The first mosasaur fossils were discovered aroundyears ago. 1780, almost 50 years before the first dinosaur fossil.Halisaurus was a mosasaur. But it was much smaller than its giant relatives like Hainosaurus. Itloitered in submarine caves and and cracks. It may have waited around ledges above the waterwhere hesperornis gathered.When the hesperornis leave their rocky ledges to dive for fish, thehalisaurus are down below, waiting for an opportunity to ambush them.Mosasaur teeth are good at piercing the skin of their prey but bad at slicing flesh. So oncehalisaurus has caught its prey, it swallows it. Its jaw has flexible joints within it and can openincredibly wide.Like other mosasaurs, Halisaurus has extra teeth called pterygoid teeth, that ituses to hold on to its prey while its jaw moves forward to swallow the hapless victim whole. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 13
This giant Hesperornis bird made (HES-per-OR-nis) more useType: Flightless bird of its teethSize: 2m high than itsDiet: Carnivore wings.Predators: Sharks, plesiosaurs, dinosaursLived: Late Cretaceous, 80-65 million years ago.It had a sleek, feathered body and long legs with webbed feet. Its wings were small, used for steeringwhen diving underwater. Its long jaws had many small sharp teeth. It was a marine predator, eatingfish, ammonites and belemnites.It lived in warm seas, coming ashore only to breed. Ungainly and vulnerable on land - Hesperorniscouldnt walk - they crowded together in colonies for safety and chose inaccessible rocky outcrops.It spent most of its time floating on the sea surface. It travelled long distances by a combination ofswimming and drifting. It was a speedy swimmer, taking short dives to feed on shoals of fish or otherpassing food. Its legs could not support its weight so on land it had to push itself along on its belly.Unable to fly or walk, It needed to be wary of predators: sharks and plesiosaurs at sea, dinosaurs andpterosaurs on land. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 14
It had over Leedsichthys 40,000 teeth (Leeds-ICK-thees) which were usedType: Ray-finned fish to sieve smallSize: Up to 27m animals from theDiet: Filter feeder water. It is probably thePredators: Liopleurodon, largest fish ever Metriorhynchus, Hybodus sharks to have lived.Lived: Late Jurassic, 165-155 million yearsIt wasago a giant fish that would have dwarfed every other animal in the sea, but it was a gentle giant that lived on thetiny shrimps, jellyfish and small fish that make up plankton. It would have swum slowly through the upper watersof the ocean, taking mouthfuls of plankton-rich water and sieving them through the giant mesh-plates at the backof its mouth. Its feeding habits were similar to the modern blue whale, which also survives on nothing butplankton.They probably travelled large distances to find parts of the world where seasonal conditions caused plankton toform itself into a dense concentrated organic soup. Once a year, and probably after plankton feasts, Leedsichthyswould have shed the giant filter plates from the back of its mouth, meaning it was unable to feed itself for severalweeks, whilst the new ones grew back. Towards the end of this time it would have become weakened throughhunger and vulnerable to attack.The Jurassic seas in which these lived were a dangerous place and despite its size, it had no formal means ofdefending itself against predators such as Liopleurodon and Metriorhynchus. One attack would be unlikely to kill afull-grown Leedsichthys, but several predators could have inflicted fatal damage, leaving this defenseless giant todie slowly from its wounds. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 15
This giant Liopleurodon predator (LI-PLOO-ro-don) would dwarf aType: Marine reptile living spermSize: 25m long whaleDiet: OmnivorePredators: Probably noneLived: Mid to Late Jurassic, 160-155 million yearsIt was the mightiest aquatic predator of all time. Its 25 meter longbody would have cruised silently through the shallow seas of the lateJurassic, propelled by its flapping flippers.It was a hunter. Its long jaws and rows of needle-sharp teeth wouldhave made marine crocodiles, the giant fish Leedsichthys,ichthyosaurs and even other pliosaurs vulnerable to attack. Its nose allowed it to smell underwater. This allowed it to smell its prey from some distance away. Despite needing to breath air, It spent its entire life at sea and was unable to leave the water. Consequently, it would have given birth to its young alive and may have visited shallower water to breed. Until recently the longest confirmed adult specimen was 18 meters. But in 2003 a fossil pliosaur (possibly a Liopleurodon) was discovered in Mexico which was 18 meters long and still a juvenile - suggesting that they grew considerably larger than this. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 16
Twice the size Megalodon of a great white (MEG-a-la-don) shark, and with teeth 21cmType: Cartilaginous fish long, this wasSize: Up to 16m in length the topDiet: Carnivore predator of itsPredators: No known predators time.Lived: The Miocene and Pliocene epochs, 16-1.6 millionyears ago.Streamlined and muscular, It had jaws over 2m wide. While it could eat whatever it chose, its favourite foodwas whale. Other kinds of marine mammals such as seals and Odobenocetops were also on its menu.Most of this sharks hunting was in the open sea (juveniles lived closer to shore). It attacked its prey nearthe surface, when it came up for air.It could swim at high speed in short bursts so tended to rush its preyfrom beneath. Especially when tackling large species, it would first aim to disable its prey by injuring aflipper or the tail. Once unable to swim properly, the victim would be easy to finish off. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 17
This Metriorhynchus snappy (MET-ri-oh-RINK-us) hunterType: Marine Crocodile could grab pterosaursSize: 3m long in mid-Diet: Carnivore flight.Predators: LiopleurodonLived: Mid Jurassic, 160-150 million yearsAt 3ago.meters long it was shorter than many living crocodiles but it would have been far more deadly. Its bodywas streamlined and its tail was long and powerful, and would have propelled it gracefully through thewater by using a strong sideways sweeping motion.It was a versatile hunter, eating everything from the slow moving ammonites and belemnites to faster preysuch as the giant fish Leedsichthys and even pterosaurs. It probably did this by resting with its head justunder the surface so that only its nostrils remained above the surface. Then when a pterosaur strayed tooclose, it would give a powerful stroke with its tail and lunge out of the water, clasping the unfortunate flyingreptile in its jaws. Despite its powerful hunting ability, it was relatively defenseless against other largerhunting reptiles like the liopleurodon. Unlike modern crocodiles, It lost most of its armor in order to be ableto swim faster. It was so adapted to life at sea that it probably only returned to land to mate and to lay itseggs. It was not very graceful when out of the water and would have returned to the sea immediately afterlaying its eggs. The young would have hatched on their own, making a hazardous journey down the beachto the sea. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 18
Nothosaur (NOTH-oh-sawr)Type: Marine reptileSize: Up to 4m long A predatory reptile ahead of its time, happiest inDiet: Carnivore the water but also able to haul out onto dry land.Predators: DinosaursLived: Triassic, 240-210 million years ago.A little bit like a crocodile, Nothosaurs had a long flat tail and shortstumpy legs. Plus it had a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth. Speed andagility helped it ambush fish as well as cephalopods and small reptiles.Although the water was its natural habitat, it came ashore tosunbathe. And like turtles nowadays, female Nothosaurs hauledthemselves well above the high water mark to bury their clutch ofeggs. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 19
This strange Odobenocetops creature had (oh-doh-ben-OH-set-ops) lopsided tusks,Type: Marine mammal no teeth and sucked its foodSize: 2.1m long out of hidingDiet: Carnivore places.Predators: Megalodon sharksLived: Pliocene, 3-5 million years ago.Its two 25cm tusks made It look like a cross between a walrus and a manatee. In males only, the right handtusk grew much larger - up to 1.35m long. It didnt have any teeth.It cruised in shallow water staying close to the seabed where it was safest. One species had an echolocationorgan, similar to that of modern dolphins.By grubbing around in the mud, It found worms and shellfish to eat. Muscular lips allowed it to suck clamsout of their shells. It was an air-breathing mammal so had to rise to the surface in between dives. It used itspowerful tail to swim around. It had good eyesight but despite its size, it had little defense against sharks.The tusks were not strong enough to be much use in a fight. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 20
A bizarre fin Stethacanthus marked this (STETH-ac-anth-us) early shark out from the crowdType: Cartiliginous fish in the DevonianSize: 0.7-2m long oceans.Diet: CarnivorePredators: DunkleosteusLived: Lived 370-345 million years ago, in the lateDevonian and through the Carboniferous era.It resembled modern sharks to an extent, except for its outrageous dorsal fin - the shape of an ironingboard - that it seems was part of courtship display as it is found in the males only. The top of this fin wascovered in rough, tooth-shaped scales that match a patch of skin on the snout of it. Was this supposed tomimic a huge mouth and make the creature appear more frightening? It tended to patrol shallow coastalwaters on the lookout for food. It ate small fish, crustaceans and cephalopods (e.g. goniatites).Theresevidence that It may have been migratory, returning to particular places to mate and give birth. It couldcertainly swim quite fast, although not quickly enough to evade a hungry Dunkleosteus. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 21
Tanystropheus (TAN-ee-STRO-fee-us) Tanystropheus had a snap-off tail and the longestType: Reptile neck possible within the laws of physics.Size: 6m longDiet: CarnivoreLived: Late Triassic, 235-210 million years ago.Three quarters of Its body length was its neck and tail. If its neck had been any longer its headmight have snapped off. It lived in shallow waters but came ashore too. On land, It ate insectsand small reptiles. In the water, it would gobble up fish and ammonites. It was not a fastswimmer so often walked along the seabed and used its long neck to get within range of preywithout being noticed. Like some lizards alive today, its tail could detach if seized by apredator, to allow an escape. It would then regrow. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 22
With a top speed Xiphactinus around 60km/h, this (zie-FAK-tin-us) immense fish wasType: Bony fish always likely to beSize: Up to 6m long "the one that gotPredators: Sharks such as Cretoxyrhina away".Lived: Late Cretaceous, 87-65 million years ago.It had a dark blue back and light silver belly to camouflage it from above and below. Sharp teeth atone end and a powerful tail at the other combined to make it a formidable pursuit hunter. It cruisedin surface waters of the oceans. It caught other large fish (swallowing creatures up to 2m long whole)and was prepared to have a go at seabirds on the surface, like a floating Hesperornis. Above all else,It was a great swimmer, able to speed towards or away from virtually anything else in the seas of thetime. It may have been able to leap above the waves at times to help dislodge parasites from its skin.It was not however immune from attack. If injured, its large size meant it was easy to spot and couldbecome prey for sharks. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 23
Scientific name: EurypteridaSea Rank: Order Common names: broadscorpions Sea scorpions, or eurypterids, were wingthe largestarthropods theworld has ever seenand could grow to2.5 metres long.They had a pair ofpincers, and insome species thesetoo could becomevery large. Sea A eurypterid -scorpions were also known as apredators that were sea scorpion -in their heyday in catching thethe Silurian and heavily armouredDevonian, though fish, Pteraspisthey survived intothe Permian. Thename sea scorpionis something of a Trace fossilsmisnomer, as they Habitats Sea beds Its not only the actual bodilyalso inhabited Shallow seas remains of dead animals andfreshwater and may Rivers and Streams plants that can become fossils.have ventured on to Estuaries Things created or left behindland now and then. Wetlands by animals can also fossilise,They are related to Lakes and Ponds such as their footprints,scorpions, Intertidal zones burrows and dung.horseshoe crabs By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 24
What killed themSea When they livedEurypterids (sea scorpions) are an extinct group ofscorpionsto arachnids which include the largestarthropods related Ordovician period Silurian periodknown arthropods that ever lived. They are members of Devonian periodthe extinct order Eurypterida (Chelicerata); which is the Carboniferous periodmost diverse Paleozoic chelicerate order in terms of Permian periodspecies. The name Eurypterida comes from the Greekword eury- meaning "broad" or "wide" and the Greek word The Permian mass extinctionpteron meaning "wing", for the pair of wide swimming has been nicknamed Theappendages on the first fossil eurypterids discovered. Great Dying, since aEurypterids predate the earliest fishes. The largest, such as staggering 96% of speciesJaekelopterus, reached 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) or more in died out. All life on Earthlength, but most species were less than 20 centimetres today is descended from the(8 in). They were formidable predators that thrived in 4% of species that survived.warm shallow water, in both seas and lakes, in theOrdovician to Permian from 460 to 248 million years ago.Although informally called sea scorpions, only the earliestones were marine (later ones lived in brackish orfreshwater), and they were not true scorpions. According Behavioursto theory, the move from the sea to fresh water probably Adapted to runningoccurred by the Pennsylvanian subperiod. They went Adapted to swimmingextinct during the Permian–Triassic extinction event 251 Moultingmillion years ago, and their fossils have a near global Predatorsdistribution.About two dozen families of eurypterids are Egg layerknown. Perhaps the best-known genus of eurypterid isEurypterus, of which around 16 fossil species are known.The genus Eurypterus was created in 1825 by JamesEllsworth De Kay, a zoologist. He recognized thearthropod nature of the first ever described eurypteridspecimen, found by Dr. S. L. Mitchill. In 1984, that species, By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 25Eurypterus remipes was named the state fossil of New
Geological timeOrigin of the Earth 4.6 billion years agoArchean eraCryogenian periodEdiacaran periodCambrian periodOrdovician periodSilurian periodDevonian periodCarboniferous periodPermian periodTriassic periodJurassic periodCretaceous periodPalaeocene epochEocene epochOligocene epochMiocene epochPliocene epochPleistocene epochHolocene epoch By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 26
Began: 3.8 billion yearsArchean era agoIt was during the Archean Ended: 2.5 billion yearsera that life first arose onEarth. At this time therewere no continents, justsmall islands in a shallowocean. There was a vastamount of carbondioxide in theatmosphere, but sincethe sun was much fainterback then, the combinedeffect did not raiseEarths temperature toan extreme. Such levelsof carbon dioxide wouldbe toxic to the majorityof animals alive today -as would the low oxygenlevels.The Archean is a geologic eon before the Paleoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon, before2.5 Ga (billion years, or 2,500 Ma) ago. Instead of being based on stratigraphy, this date isdefined chronometrically. The lower boundary (starting point) has not been officiallyrecognized by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, but it is usually set to 3.8 Ga, atthe end of the Hadean Eon. In older literature, the Hadean is included as part of the Archean.The name comes from the ancient Greek ,meaning "beginning, origin". By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 27
Began: 850 million years ago Cryogenian period Ended: 635 million years ago A succession of incredibly harsh ice ages waxed and waned during the Cryogenian. It is nicknamed Snowball Earth as its been suggested that the glaciation was so severe it may even have reached the equator. Life during the Cryogenian consisted of tiny organisms - the microscopic ancestors of fungi, plants, animals and kelps all evolved during this time.The Cryogenian is a geologic period that lasted from 850 to 635 million years ago. It forms the What the Earth was likesecond geologic period of the Neoproterozoic Era, preceded by the Tonian Period andfollowed by the Ediacaran. The Sturtian and Marinoan glaciations, which are the greatest iceages known to have occurred on Earth and may have covered the entire planet, occurred Snowballduring this period. These so-called snowball earth events are the subject of much scientific Earthcontroversy. The main debate involves whether these glaciations were truly global or merelylocalised events. The period has not received the international ratification that all geologicaltime periods undergo (the most recent being the Ediacaran Period, which was ratified in Ice age2004). The start of the period is defined only on the ages of the rocks and not on anyobservable and documented global event. This is problematic as estimates of rock ages arevariable and are subject to laboratory error. For instance, the Cambrian Period is marked notby rock younger than a given age (542 million years), but by the appearance of the worldwideTreptichnus pedum diagnostic trace fossil assemblage. This means that rocks can be By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 28recognised as Cambrian when examined in the field and do not require extensive testing to be
Ice ageThe last ice age hasnt ended, theclimate has just warmed up a bitcausing the ice sheets to retreat. Whenthe ice was more extensive, ourclimate was very different. Firstly, lotsof the worlds water was turned to ice,so precipitation was low: Europereceived roughly half the rainfall it getstoday, mostly in the summer months.Globally, summer temperatures were4-8 Celsius colder than today. In someplaces, the winter temperatures were15-20 Celsius cooler than todays,making ice age Florida more likemodern Quebec. Wind speeds werehigher and dust storms were commonas the wind picked up material fromenlarged deserts and glacier margins.The ice age was at its most extreme -and the climate at its most severe -18,000 years ago.period when this happenedCryogenian Carboniferous Permian Pleistoceneperiod period period epoch 12/7/2012 29 By VISHAL KANHAIYA
Began: Permian mass extinction248 million years agoTriassic period Ended: Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction205 million yearsThe Triassic began after the worst agomass extinction ever, at the end of thePermian. Life on Earth took a while torecover and diversify. The Triassic wascharacterised by heat, vast deserts andwarm seas. Even the polar regionswere warm, so lush forests grew there.However, the lack of other life, coupledwith the periods particularenvironmental conditions, opened upsome evolutionary opportunities. As aresult, the very first mammals anddinosaurs evolved. During this time,the giant supercontinent of Pangaeabegan to break apart. The periodended as it had begun, with anextinction event that wiped out manyspecies.Desert Earth What the Earth was likeA vast desert formed in Earthsprehistoric past when thesupercontinent of Pangaeastraddled the equator andstretched to the poles.Pangaeas position influencedocean circulation patterns, andits huge size meant that therewere vast areas where moist airfrom the oceans never By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 30
Began: Triassic-Jurassic massJurassic period extinction 205 million yrs.The Jurassic began after agothe mass extinction Ended: 142 million yrs. agoevent that ended theTriassic. Life, however,was quick to recoverfrom this blow and theJurassic eventuallybecame host to the mostdiverse range oforganisms that Earth hadyet seen. Amongst themwere the first birds andsome of the dinosaurs.Continental break-upduring this time gave riseto the sea that wouldeventually widen tobecome the AtlanticOcean. The ocean floorthat formed at this time What the Earth was likeis the oldest surviving on What grew thenthe planet - all older oneshaving now beenrecycled through platetectonics.Types of fossils formed in this period By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 31
DINOSAU Scientific name: Dinosauria RS Rank: Superorder Common names: terrible, powerful, wondrous lizardDinosaurs were the dominant land animals for 160 million years, making them one of the most successful groups ofanimals ever. The name dinosaur translates as terrible or wondrous lizards and they certainly evolved in a diverse range ofsizes and shapes, from the gigantic plant-eating sauropods to the quick meat-eating tyrannosaurs. They also sported animpressive array of body modifications including horns, scales and crests. So far, the remains of over 1,000 differentdinosaur species have been identified from fossils though technically, birds are feathered12/7/2012 By VISHAL KANHAIYA dinosaurs, meaning dinosaurs 32arent really extinct at all.
When they lived Triassic period Jurassic period Cretaceous periodBy VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 33
Scientific name: AllosaurusAllosaurus Rank: GenusThey were big, mean killing machines thatreigned supreme during the late Jurassic period.They were the most common huge predators inNorth America 140 million years ago, reaching animpressive 12 meters in length and weighing up tofour tonnes. These carnivorous dinosaurs could ripand tear chunks out of the large plant-eatingsauropods and stegosaurs of the time. Theenormous jaw was filled with long, serrated, back-curving teeth. Near perfect examples of thisclassic shaped theropod dinosaur were discoveredin Wyoming and called Big Al and Big Al Two. Itsfossil remains are extremely rare outside America.They lived in the JURRASIC PERIOD. Allosaurus in a dry and sandy landscapeAllosaurus size By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 34
Allosaurus BehavioursIt is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 150 million years ago Carnivorousduring the late Jurassic perio). The name Allosaurus means "different lizard".It is derived from the Greek allos ("different, other") and sauros ("lizard").The first remains that can definitely be ascribed to this genus were describedin 1877 by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. As one of the first well-known theropod dinosaurs, it has long attracted attention outside ofpaleontological circles. Indeed, it has been a top feature in several films and Egg layerdocumentaries about prehistoric life. It was a large bipedal predator. Its skullwas large and equipped with dozens of large, sharp teeth. It averaged 8.5meters (28 ft) in length, though fragmentary remains suggest it could havereached over 12 meters (39 ft). Relative to the large and powerful hind limbs,its three-fingered forelimbs were small, and the body was balanced by along, heavy tail. It is classified as an allosaurid, a type of carnosaurian Predatortheropod dinosaur. It has a complicated taxonomy, and includes anuncertain number of valid species, the best known of which is A. fragilis. Thebulk of Allosaurus remains have come from North Americas MorrisonFormation, with material also known from Portugal and possibly Tanzania. Itwas known for over half of the 20th century as Antrodemus, but study of thecopious remains from the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry brought the Adapted toname Allosaurus back to prominence, and established it as one of the best- runningknown dinosaurs.As the most abundant large predator in the MorrisonFormation, Allosaurus was at the top of the food chain, probably preying oncontemporaneous large herbivorous dinosaurs and perhaps even otherpredators (e.g. Ceratosaurus). Potential prey included ornithopods, Scavengerstegosaurids, and sauropods. Some paleontologists interpret Allosaurus ashaving had cooperative social behavior, and hunting in packs, while othersbelieve individuals may have been aggressive toward each other, and thatcongregations of this genus are the result of lone individuals feeding on thesame carcasses. It may have attacked large prey by ambush, using its upper KANHAIYA By VISHAL 12/7/2012 35jaw like a hatchet.
ArchaeopteryxScientific name: ArchaeopteryxRank: GenusCommon names: ancient wing,UrvogelArchaeopteryx are the earliest known flying birds and only about the size of a modern day magpie. Living around 150million years ago, Archaeopteryx had developed flying abilities that may have evolved from gliding out of trees or simplyrunning along the ground. The first complete skeleton was discovered in Jurassic limestone in Germany in 1861 and is avery important fossil, almost certainly representing the transition between reptiles and birds. This missing link shares sharpteeth and a long bony tail with small theropod dinosaurs, and a wishbone andKANHAIYA with the birds. Lived in Jurassic 36 By VISHAL feathers 12/7/2012period
Archaeopteryx BehavioursArchaeopteryx , sometimes referred to by its German name Urvogel ("originalbird" or "first bird"), is the earliest and most primitive bird known. The namederives from the Ancient Greek ἀρχαῖοσ (archaīos) meaning "ancient", and Carnivorousπτέρυξ (ptéryx), meaning "feather" or "wing“. Archaeopteryx lived in the LateJurassic Period around 150 million years ago, in what is now southern Germanyduring a time when Europe was an archipelago of islands in a shallow warmtropical sea, much closer to the equator than it is now. Similar in shape to aEuropean Magpie, with the largest individuals possibly attaining the size of araven, Archaeopteryx could grow to about 0.5 meters (1.6 ft) in length. Despite Adapted to flyingits small size, broad wings, and inferred ability to fly or glide, Archaeopteryxhas more in common with small theropod dinosaurs than it does with modernbirds. In particular, it shares the following features with the deinonychosaurs(dromaeosaurs and troodontids): jaws with sharp teeth, three fingers withclaws, a long bony tail, hyperextensible second toes ("killing claw"), feathers Adapted to gliding(which also suggest homeothermy), and various skeletal features. The featuresabove make Archaeopteryx a clear candidate for a transitional fossil betweendinosaurs and birds. Thus, Archaeopteryx plays an important role not only inthe study of the origin of birds but in the study of dinosaurs. It was namedfrom a feather in 1861. That same year, the first complete specimen ofArchaeopteryx was announced; this was only two years after Charles Darwin Egg layerpublished On the Origin of Species, and it became a key piece of evidence inthe debate over evolution. Over the years, nine more fossils of Archaeopteryxhave surfaced. Despite variation among these fossils, most experts regard allthe remains that have been discovered as belonging to a single species,though this is still debated.Most of these eleven fossils include impressions of feathers—among the oldest Predatordirect evidence of such structures. Moreover, because these feathers are of anadvanced form (flight feathers), these fossils are evidence that the evolution offeathers began before the Late Jurassic By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 37
Began: 142 million years agoCretaceous period Ended: Cretaceous-Tertiary massThe Cretaceous ended with the extinctionmost famous mass extinction in 65 million years agohistory - the one that killed thedinosaurs. Prior to that, it was awarm period with no ice caps atthe poles. Much of what we nowknow as dry land - such assouthern England and themidwest of the USA - wasunderwater, since sea levelsreached their highest everduring this time. The AtlanticOcean grew much wider asNorth and South America drewapart from Europe and Africa.The Indian Ocean was formed atthis time, and the island thatwas India began its journeynorth towards Asia. What the Earth was likeCauses of extinctionsFlood basalt eruptions Impact events By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 38
Ankylosaurs Ankylosaurus armed with thick skin, bony plates and a club like tail Scientific name: Ankylosauria Rank: Infraorder Common names:fused lizardsLooking like reptilian armadillos, or prehistoric tanks, Ankylosaurs were heavily armoured dinosaurs withprotective plates over their head and shoulders. Some species took their protection to extremes and even hadarmoured eyelids. Spikes and protrusions were common in a bid to deter predators from taking a bite. Someankylosaurs had a large, heavy club at the end of the tail for wielding as a weapon or, as has also been suggested, 39for sexual selection. To carry the weight of all this heavy armour, these plant-eating12/7/2012 By VISHAL KANHAIYA dinosaurs had very short, stout
Ankylosaurs What killed themAnkylosauria is a group of herbivorous The Cretaceous-Tertiarydinosaurs of the order Ornithischia. It mass extinction - alsoincludes the great majority of dinosaurs known as the K/T extinctionwith armor in the form of bony - is famed for the death ofosteoderms. Ankylosaurs were bulky the dinosaurs. However,quadrupeds, with short, powerful limbs. many other organismsThey are first known to have appeared in perished at the end of thethe early Jurassic Period of China, and Cretaceous including thepersisted until the end of the Cretaceous ammonites, many floweringPeriod. They have been found on every plants and the last of thecontinent except Africa. The first dinosaur pterosaurs.ever discovered in Antarctica was theankylosaurian Antarctopelta, fossils of Behaviourswhich were recovered from Ross Island in1986. It lived in both Jurassic andCretaceous periods. Predation EggAnkylosauria was first described by Henry defense layerFairfield Osborn in 1923. In the Linnaeanclassification system, the group is usuallyconsidered a suborder or an infraorder. It iscontained within the group Thyreophora,which also includes the stegosaurs,armored dinosaurs known for their Herbivorecombination of plates and spikes. s By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 40
A pair of Torosaurus dinosaurs, that are now thought toHorned dinosaurs be a form of triceratops Scientific name: Ceratopsia Rank: Infraorder Common names: horn faceSpeculation continues over the function of the wicked looking horns and grand neck frill of the larger ceratopsians such asTriceratops. Were they for protection, display or even to control body temperature? The earliest horned dinosaurs werequite small and got about on two legs. The four legged giants that characterise the group came later. Fossil evidencesuggests horned dinosaurs originated in whats now Asia during the Cretaceous period, spreading out and thriving asherbivores. Many of the species are recognised from their skulls, whichVISHAL to be the part of a ceratopsian skeleton most By seem KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 41likely to be preserved. Lived in the Cretaceous period.
Horned dinosaurs TriceratopsCeratopsia or Ceratopia is a group ofherbivorous, beaked dinosaurs which thrived inwhat are now North America and Asia, duringthe Cretaceous Period, although ancestralforms lived earlier, in the Jurassic. Early Behavioursmembers such as Psittacosaurus were smalland bipedal. Later members, including Predation defenceceratopsids like Centrosaurus and Triceratops,became very large quadrupeds and developedelaborate facial horns and a neck frill. While thefrill might have served to protect thevulnerable neck from predators, it may also Protoceratops Herbivoroushave been used for display, thermoregulation,the attachment of large neck and chewingmuscles or some combination of the above.Ceratopsians ranged in size from 1 meter (3 ft)and 23 kilograms (50 lb) to over 9 meters (30 ft) Egg layerand 5,400 kg (12,000 lb).Triceratops is by far the best-knownceratopsian to the general public. It istraditional for ceratopsian genus names to endin "-ceratops", although this is not always thecase. One of the first named genera was Adapted to runningCeratops itself, which lent its name to thegroup, although it is considered a nomendubium today as its fossil remains have nodistinguishing characteristics that are not also By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 42
Triceratops Triceratops drinking at a pondScientific name: TriceratopsRank: GenusCommon names: three-hornedfaceTogether with the bony frill behind its extraordinarily large head, the three distinctive horns of the Triceratops weretraditionally viewed as defensive weapons for this mighty herbivore. However, it is likely that they were used in courtshipand dominance displays, much as modern deer use their antlers. One of the last groups of dinosaur to evolve, Triceratopswould have shared the landscape with, and been preyed upon by, the awesome Tyrannosaurus. There is little evidence thatthey ever had the spectacular battles so often depicted, however. No complete Triceratops skeleton has yet been foundand what was thought to be another horned dinosaur, Torosaurus, has recently been identified as the fully mature form of By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 43Triceratops.
TriceratopsTriceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur which lived during the late Maastrichtian stage of the LateCretaceous Period, around 68 to 65 million years ago in what is now North America. It was one of the last dinosaur generato appear before the great Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event.Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on its large four-legged body, and conjuring similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of alldinosaurs and the best known ceratopsid. It shared the landscape with and was preyed upon by the fearsomeTyrannosaurus, though it is less certain that the two did battle in the manner often depicted in traditional museum displaysand popular images. The exact placement of the Triceratops genus within the ceratopsid group has been debated bypaleontologists. Two species, T. horridus and T. prorsus, are considered valid although many other species have beennamed. Recent research suggests that the contemporaneous Torosaurus, a ceratopsid long regarded as a separate genus,actually represents Triceratops in its mature form. Triceratops has been documented by numerous remains collected sincethe genus was first described in 1889, including at least one complete individual skeleton. Paleontologist John Scannellaobserved: "It is hard to walk out into the Hell Creek Formation and not stumble upon a triceratops weathering out of ahillside." Forty-seven complete or partial skulls were discovered in just that area during the decade 2000–2010. Specimensrepresenting life stages from hatchling to adult have been found.The function of the frills and three distinctive facial hornshas long inspired debate. Traditionally these have been viewed as defensive weapons against predators. More recenttheories, noting the presence of blood vessels in the skull bones of ceratopsids, find it more probable that these featureswere primarily used in identification, courtship and dominance displays, much like the antlers and horns of modernreindeer, mountain goats, or rhinoceros beetles. The theory finds additional support if Torosaurus represents the matureform of Triceratops, as this would mean the frill also developed holes (fenestrae) as individuals reached maturity, renderingthe structure more useful for display than defense.Behaviours Triceratops sizePredation defenseHerbivorousEgg layerCourtship display By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 44
Protoceratops Two protoceratops from a group fighting in the desert Scientific name: Protoceratops Rank: Genus Common names: first horn faceWere the beak and clawed legs of Protoceratops fossil remains the origin of the lion bodied, eagle headed griffin of Greeklegend? We know now that Protoceratops was an early type of horned dinosaur related to Triceratops. These herbivoreswould have been about the size of sheep and may have roamed in herds, devouring the vegetation of the time. Certainly,the finding of fossilised remains of many individuals in one place suggested herd behaviour. One of the two recognisedfinds of Protoceratops fossils was infamous for having a velociraptorBy VISHAL KANHAIYA around it as if locked in battle. 45 skeleton wrapped 12/7/2012
Protoceratops Fossil FolkloreProtoceratops , (derived from Greek protofirst, cerat‘ horn and ‘ops’ face )is a genusof sheep-sized (1.5 to 2 m long) herbivorousceratopsian dinosaur, from the Upper BehavioursCretaceous Period (Campanian stage) ofwhat is now Mongolia. It was a member of Predation defencethe Protoceratopsidae, a group of earlyhorned dinosaurs. Unlike later ceratopsians,however, it lacked well-developed horns Protoceratops have featured it ourand retained some primitive traits not seen folklore - learn more our ancestorsin later genera. beliefs before we understood HerbivorousProtoceratops had a large neck frill, which fossilisation and evolution.may have served to protect the neck, toanchor jaw muscles, to impress othermembers of the species, or combinations ofthese functions. Described by Walter Velociraptors work together to hunt down a bulky Proceratops. Egg layerGranger and W.K. Gregory in 1923,Protoceratops was initially believed to be anancestor of the North Americanceratopsians. Researchers currentlydistinguish two species of Protoceratops (P.andrewsi and P. hellenikorhinus), based in Adapted to runningpart by their respective sizes.In the 1920s,Roy Chapman Andrews discoveredfossilized eggs in Mongolia that wereinterpreted as belonging to this dinosaur, By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 46but which turned out to be those of
Ceropod dinosaurs A group of Scientific name: Cerapoda Corythosaurus Rank: Suborder dinosaurs on a frozen Common names: horn foot landscapeCeropod dinosaurs were all plant-eaters and include the horned and duck-billed dinosaurs. The secret of their success wasin their teeth. These were much more efficient at grinding up plant food than your typical dinosaurs dentition, so cerapodswere able to extract more nutritional value from their food and tackle plants that others found too tough to digest. Itwasnt until big herbivorous mammals evolved that such efficient chewing teeth were seen again on Earth. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 47
Ceropod dinosaursNeornithischia is a clade of the orderOrnithischia. They are the sister groupof the Thyreophora within the cladeGenasauria. Neornithischians are unitedby having a thicker layer ofasymmetrical enamel on the inside oftheir lower teeth. The teeth woreunevenly with chewing and developedsharp ridges that allowed What killed themneornithischians to break down tougherplant food than other dinosaurs Behaviours Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction Herbivorous Egg layer By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 48
Ornithopod dinosaurs Scientific name: Ornithopoda Rank: Infraorder Common names: bird feetWith some of the most advanced chewing apparatus ever developed by a reptile, ornithopod dinosaurs became a most successfulgroup of herbivorous dinosaurs. They rapidly became a prominent feature on North Americas Cretaceous landscape, until they werewiped out by the famous Cretaceous-Tertiary, or K-T, extinction event. Early ornithopods were only about a metre long and couldprobably run very fast on their hind legs. They evolved to become as large as some of the mighty sauropods, walking and grazing onall four legs, but still using the hind legs for running and reaching up into trees. Notable ornithopods include the duck-billed By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 49hadrosaurs and, of course, iguanodon.
Ornithopod dinosaursOrnithopods or members of the cladeOrnithopoda are a group of bird-hipped dinosaurs that started out assmall, bipedal running grazers, andgrew in size and numbers until they Iguanodonsbecame one of the most successfulgroups of herbivores in the Cretaceousworld, and dominated the NorthAmerican landscape. Their majorevolutionary advantage was theprogressive development of a chewingapparatus that became the most Duck-billed dinosaurssophisticated ever developed by areptile, rivaling that of modernmammals like the domestic cow. Theyreached their apex in the duck-bills,before they were wiped out by the LeaellynasauraCretaceous-Tertiary extinction eventalong with all other non-aviandinosaurs. Members are known fromall seven continents, although theAntarctic remains are unnamed, andthey are generally rare in the SouthernHemisphere. Muttaburrasaurus By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 50
ChromistaChromista includediatoms, ciliatesand theirrelatives. As manyof the species inthis kingdom canphotosynthesise,and have rigid cellwalls, they were Giant kelp viewedonce thought to from underwaterbe plants. Theirmembers includekelps, the watermould thatcaused the Irishpotato famineand single-celledorganisms such asthe paramecium.Scientific name: ChromistaRank: KingdomCommon names: ChromistaThe Chromista are a eukaryotic supergroup, probably polyphyletic, which may be treated as a separate kingdomor included among the Protista. They include all algae whose chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and c, as well asvarious colorless forms that are closely related to them. These are surrounded by four membranes, and arebelieved to have been acquired from some red alga. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 51
Scientific name: Iguanodon Iguanodons Rank: Genus Common names: iguana toothPlant-eating Iguanodons were large dinosaurs capable of walking on two legs or on all four. Their outstanding feature wasa highly specialised, five-fingered hand made up of an erect and spiked thumb used for defence or perhaps foraging, threemiddle fingers and a grasping fifth finger. Iguanodons were one of the first dinosaurs ever described and artisticimpressions have changed much with each new discovery. Currently, its thought they held the head low to the ground andtheir long, heavy tail in the air for balance rather than vice versa. HerdsVISHAL KANHAIYAthe different species varying in size - By of Iguanodon - 12/7/2012 52flourished in Europe and North America during the lower Cretaceous period.
Iguanodons Fossil typesIguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that lived When they lived Trace fossilsroughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal Jurassic periodhypsilophodontids and the ornithopods culmination in the Cretaceous period Behavioursduck-billed dinosaurs. Many species of Iguanodon have been Adapted to runningnamed, dating from the Kimmeridgian age of the Late Predation defenceJurassic Period to the Cenomanian age of the Late HerbivoresCretaceous Period from Asia, Europe, and North America. SocialHowever, research in the first decade of the 21st century Egg layersuggests that there is only one well-substantiated species: I.bernissartensis, that lived from the late Barremian to theearliest Aptian ages (Early Cretaceous) in Europe, betweenabout 126 and 125 million years ago. Iguanodons mostdistinctive features were its large thumb spikes, which werepossibly used for defence against predators, combined withlong prehensile fifth fingers able to forage forfood.Discovered in 1822 and described three years later byEnglish geologist Gideon Mantell, Iguanodon was the seconddinosaur formally named, after Megalosaurus. Together withMegalosaurus and Hylaeosaurus, it was one of the threegenera originally used to define Dinosauria. A large, bulkyherbivore, Iguanodon is a member of Iguanodontia, alongwith the duck-billed hadrosaurs. The taxonomy of this genuscontinues to be a topic of study as new species are named or Iguanodon sizelong-standing ones reassigned to other genera.Scientificunderstanding of Iguanodon has evolved over time as newinformation has been obtained from the fossils. Thenumerous specimens of this genus, including nearlycomplete skeletons from two well-known bonebeds, haveallowed researchers to make informed hypotheses regarding By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 53many aspects of the living animal, including feeding,
Macrauchenia Scientific name: Macrauchenia Rank: Genus Common names: long llamaThe first Macrauchenia skeleton was actually discovered by Charles Darwin on a stop-over on his famous journey on boardThe Beagle. Since then many more remains have been found in the Lujan formation in Argentina. Although this animallooked like it should be a member of the camel family, it was actually related to a group of animals that no longer exists -the litopterns. Its strange skull suggests that it had a muscular proboscis. Little work has been done on Macrauchenia, butits ankle joints and shin bones seem to be adapted for extreme mobility, allowing it to twist and turn to avoid pursuers 54 By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 athigh speed.
Macrauchenia When they livedMacrauchenia ("long llama", Miocene epochbased on the now superseded Pliocene epochLatin term for llamas Auchenia, Pleistocene epoch Sabretooths hunt prime plainsfrom Greek terms which literally targets, a herd of Macrauchenia.mean "big neck") was a long-necked and long-limbed, three-toed South American ungulatemammal, typifying the orderLitopterna. The oldest fossils dateback to around 7 million yearsago, and M. patagonicadisappears from the fossil recordduring the late Pleistocene,around 20,000 years ago. M.patagonica was the best knownmember of the familyMacraucheniidae, and is knownonly from fossil finds in SouthAmerica, primarily from the LujanFormation in Argentina. Theoriginal specimen was discovered Behaviours What their world was likeby Charles Darwin during the Adapted to running Ice Agevoyage of the Beagle. In life, SocialMacrauchenia resembled a herbivoreshumpless camel with a short Viviparoustrunk, though it is not closelyrelated to either camels or By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 55proboscideans.
Scientific name: OrnithischiaBird-hipped dinosaurs Rank: Order Common names: Bird-hipped A group of bird-hipped dinosaurs from England during the Lower Cretaceous PeriodBird-hipped dinosaurs derive their name from the shape of their pelvis, which resembles that of modern birds, whose pubispoints to the rear of the animal. Unexpectedly, birds did not evolve from these dinosaurs, but from the lizard-hippeddinosaurs, since this shape of pelvis has evolved more than once. Another distinguishing characteristic of the bird-hippeddinosaurs was a horny beak, which they used to crop plants, much like a horse or deer uses its front teeth today. Duck- By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012billed dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs and armoured dinosaurs were all of the bird-hipped variety. 56
Bird-hipped dinosaurs Explore this groupOrnithischia or Predentata is an extinct Ceropod Dinosaursorder of beaked, herbivorous dinosaurs. Armoured DinosaursThe name ornithischia is derived from theGreek ornitheos (ορνιθειοσ) meaning of abird and ischion (ιςχιον) meaning hipjoint. They are known as the bird-hippeddinosaurs because of their bird-like hipstructure, even though birds actuallydescended from the lizard-hippeddinosaurs (the saurischians). Beingherbivores that sometimes lived in herds,they were more numerous than thesaurischians. They were prey animals forthe theropods and were smaller than thesauropods. When they lived Triassic period Jurassic period Cretaceous period Behaviours Herbivores Egg layer What killed them The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction 57 By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012
Scientific name: ThyreophoraArmoured dinosaurs Rank: Suborder Common names: shield bearersWuerhosaurus adult and young by a poolWhile early armoured dinosaurs had bony scutes like crocodiles, later forms took armour to the extremes, evolving largeplates, spikes, clubs and carapaces. Covering yourself in heavy armour proved to be a very successful anti-predationstrategy, as armoured dinosaurs evolved during the early Jurassic and lasted right up until the mass extinction at the end ofthe Cretaceous period. Though there were many variations and modifications within each type, they came in two basicforms: the stegosaurs with their rows of spikes or plates along the spine, and the more heavily amoured ankylosaurs. 58 By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012
Armoured dinosaursThe Thyreophora ("shield bearers", often known simply as "armored dinosaurs" - Greek: θυρεοσ, alarge oblong shield, like a door and φορεω, I carry) were a subgroup of the ornithischian dinosaurs.They were armored herbivorous dinosaurs, living from the early Jurassic until the end of theCretaceous.Thyreophorans are characterized by the presence of body armor lined up in longitudinal rows alongthe body. Primitive forms had simple, low, keeled scutes or osteoderms whereas more derived formsdeveloped more elaborate structures including spikes and plates. Most thyreophorans had relativelysmall brains for their body size.Thyreophorans include well-known suborders such as the Ankylosauriaand Stegosauria as well as lesser-known groups. Among the Ankylosauria, the two main groups are theAnkylosaurids and Nodosaurids. In both groups, the forelimbs were much shorter than the hindlimbs,and this was particularly exaggerated in stegosaurs. The clade has been defined as the groupconsisting of all species more closely related to Ankylosaurus than to Triceratops. Thyreophora is thesister group of the Cerapoda within the Genasauria. Ankylosaurids are noted by the presence of a largetail club composed of distended vertebrae that have fused into a single mass. They were heavy-set andheavily armored from head to tail in bony armor, even down to minor features such as the eyelids.Spikes and nodules, often of horn, were set into the armor. The head was flat, stocky, with little or no"neck", roughly shovel-shaped and characterized by two spikes on either side of the headapproximately where the ears and cheeks were. Euoplocephalus tutus is perhaps the best-knownankylosaurid.Nodosaurids, the other family in the Ankylosauria, may actually include the ancestors ofthe ankylosaurids. They lived during the middle Jurassic (approx 170 mya) on up through the lateCretaceous (65 mya) and, while armored as the ankylosaurids, did not have a tail club. Instead, thebony bumps and spikes that covered the rest of their body continued out to the tail and/or wereaugmented with sharp spines. Two examples of nodosaurs are Sauropelta and Edmontonia, the lattermost notable for its formidable forward-pointing shoulder spikes. The Stegosauria suborder comprisesthe Stegosauridae and Huayangosauridae. These dinosaurs lived mostly from the Middle to LateJurassic, although some fossils have been found in the Early Cretaceous. Stegosaurs had very smallheads with simple, leaf-like teeth. Stegosaurs possessed rows of plates and/or spikes running down thedorsal midline and elongated dorsal vertebra. It has been suggested that stegosaur plates functionedin control of body temperature (thermoregulation) and/or were usedBy VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 as a display to identify members 59of a species, as well as to attract mates and intimidate rivals. Well known stegosaurs are Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus Scientific name: Stegosaurus Rank: Genus Common names: roof-lizardAlthough nowhere near the largest of the Jurassic dinosaurs, Stegosaurus were still about the size of a bus. Distinctive andheavily built, they were herbivores with short forelimbs and would have walked with their small head close to the groundand the four-spiked tail held high. The double row of plates running along the back helped control body temperature andwere probably used in display or possibly in defence against carnivorous Allosaurs. Most fossils for the three knownspecies, including some complete skeletons, have come from the USA,VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 in Portugal suggests a By although a recent discovery 60wider distribution.
Stegosaurus BehavioursStegosaurus is a genus of stegosaurid armored dinosaur from Heat tolerantthe Late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian to early Tithonian) in Predation defensewhat is now western North America. In 2006, a specimen of HerbivoresStegosaurus was announced from Portugal, showing that they Egg layerwere present in Europe as well. Due to its distinctive tail spikes Socialand plates, Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizabledinosaurs, along with Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, andApatosaurus. The name Stegosaurus means "roof lizard"(sometimes put as "covered lizard", but in the sense that a roofcovers a building) and is derived from the Greek ςτέγοσ-,stegos- ("roof") and ςαῦροσ, -sauros ("lizard"). At least threespecies have been identified in the upper Morrison Formationand are known from the remains of about 80 individuals. Theylived some 155 to 150 million years ago, in an environment andtime dominated by the giant sauropods Diplodocus,Camarasaurus, and Apatosaurus.A large, heavily built, herbivorous quadruped, Stegosaurus hada distinctive and unusual posture, with a heavily rounded back,short forelimbs, head held low to the ground and a stiffenedtail held high in the air. Its array of plates and spikes has beenthe subject of much speculation. The spikes were most likelyused for defense, while the plates have also been proposed as a Stegosaurus sizedefensive mechanism, as well as having display andthermoregulatory (heat control) functions. Stegosaurus wasthe largest of all the stegosaurians (bigger than genera such asKentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus) and, although roughly bus-sized, it nonetheless shared many anatomical features(including the tail spines and plates) with the otherstegosaurian genera. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 61
Scientific name: TarbosaurusTarbosaurus Rank: Genus Common names: alarming lizardTarbosaurus was a relative of Tyrannosaurus and lived in Asia during the late Cretaceous. It has the smallest forearms of allthe tyrannosaurs known and though slightly smaller than T-rex, was still one of the larger members of the tyrannosauridfamily. It had a lightweight skeleton, which probably helped to increase its agility. Tarbosaurus bataar skeletons arecommon in the rocks of the Nemegt Formation of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 62
Tarbosaurus Behaviours ScavengerTarbosaurus is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod Carnivorousdinosaur that flourished in Asia about 70 million years ago, Egg layerat the end of the Late Cretaceous Period. Fossils have been Predatorrecovered in Mongolia, with more fragmentary remains Adapted tofound further afield in parts of China. Although many runningspecies have been named, modern paleontologistsrecognize only one, T. bataar, as valid. Some expertscontend that this species is actually an Asianrepresentative of the North American genusTyrannosaurus; if true, this would invalidate the genusTarbosaurus altogether. A recreated encounter between TarbosaurusTarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are considered to be at and a tail-clubbing Ankylosaur.least closely related genera, if not synonymous. Alioramus,also from Mongolia, is thought by some authorities to bethe closest relative of Tarbosaurus. Like most knowntyrannosaurids, Tarbosaurus was a large bipedal predator,weighing more than a ton and equipped with dozens oflarge, sharp teeth. It had a unique locking mechanism in itslower jaw and the smallest forelimbs relative to body sizeof all tyrannosaurids, renowned for theirdisproportionately tiny, two-fingered forelimbs. Tarbosaurus and a Therizinosaurus face off in a battle ofTarbosaurus lived in a humid floodplain criss-crossed by gigantic proportionsriver channels. In this environment, it was an apex predatorat the top of the food chain, probably preying on otherlarge dinosaurs like the hadrosaur Saurolophus or thesauropod Nemegtosaurus. Tarbosaurus is very wellrepresented in the fossil record, known from dozens ofspecimens, including several complete skulls andskeletons. These remains have allowed scientific studies By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 63
Theropod dinosaurs Scientific name: Theropoda Rank: Suborder Common names: beast- footedTheropod dinosaurs were the top predators in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. For over 100 million years theropodswere the only large carnivores on land and included all the infamous carnivorous dinosaurs - Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptorand Spinosaurus. However, not all theropods were predators. Some evolved away from their carnivorous origins toconsume an omnivorous or herbivorous diet. Birds are the only living descendants of the theropods. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 64
Theropod dinosaurs What killed themTheropods is both a suborder of bipedal The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinctionsaurischian dinosaurs, and a cladeconsisting of that suborder and its When they lived Fossil typesdescendants (including modern birds). Triassic period Trace fossilsDinosaurs belonging to the suborder Jurassic periodtheropoda were primarily carnivorous, Cretaceous periodalthough a number of theropod groupsevolved herbivory, omnivory, andinsectivory. Theropods first appeared during Allosaurusthe Carnian age of the late Triassic period Australovenator Tyrannosaursabout 230 million years ago (Ma) andincluded the sole large terrestrial carnivoresfrom the Early Jurassic until at least theclose of the Cretaceous, about 65 Ma. In theJurassic, birds evolved from small Carcharodontosaurids Dromaeosaurs Coelophysisspecialized coelurosaurian theropods, andare today represented by 9,900 livingspecies.Among the features linking theropoddinosaurs to birds are the three-toed foot, a Therizinosaurusfurcula (wishbone), air-filled bones and (insome cases) feathers and brooding of theeggs. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 65
Scientific name: TyrannosauridaeTyrannosaurs Rank: Family Common names: tyrant lizardsThe family of tyrannosaurs includes the famous Tyrannosaurus rex as well as other large carnivores such as Albertosaurusand Tarbosaurus. They evolved in the late Cretaceous and their large size made them the top predators of the time. Likehuman beings, tyrannosaurs went through an adolescent growth spurt, increasing greatly in height and weight until theyapproached sexual maturity. Thereafter they grew much more slowly until they reached their final size. Tyrannosaur fossilsare found in Asia and North America, through their ancestors also livedVISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 By in Europe. 66
Tyrannosaurs Tyrannosaurus rexTyrannosauridae (or tyrannosaurids, meaning "tyrantlizards") is a family of coelurosaurian theropoddinosaurs which comprises two subfamilies containingup to six genera, including the eponymousTyrannosaurus. The exact number of genera iscontroversial, with some experts recognizing as few asthree. All of these animals lived near the end of theCretaceous Period and their fossils have been foundonly in North America and Asia.Although descended from smaller ancestors,tyrannosaurids were almost always the largestpredators in their respective ecosystems, putting themat the apex of the food chain. The largest species wasTyrannosaurus rex, one of the largest known landpredators, which measured up to 13 metres (43 ft) inlength and up to 6.8 tonnes (7.5 short tons) in weight.Tyrannosaurids were bipedal carnivores with massiveskulls filled with large teeth. Despite their large size,their legs were long and proportioned for fastmovement. In contrast, their arms were very small,bearing only two functional digits.Unlike most other groups of dinosaurs, very completeremains have been discovered for most knowntyrannosaurids. This has allowed a variety of researchinto their biology. Scientific studies have focused ontheir ontogeny, biomechanics and ecology, amongother subjects. Soft tissue, both fossilized and intact,has been reported from one specimen of Tyrannosaurusrex. By VISHAL KANHAIYA 12/7/2012 67