There is one movie which I have never seen, even though it has dinosaurs in it. A movie which is said to have turned dinosaurs into the pop culture juggernaughts that they are. That movie is Jurassic Park.
In this post, I’m going to look at dinosaurs and why they’re so cool.
Dinosaurs are undeniably awesome animals, hence why so many films, documentaries and books are made about them. My first dinosaur experience was a Chinese dinosaur book my mum had, then I saw the giant animatronic T-Rex at the Natural History Museum. I then had lots of dinosaur books and toys. I knew practically every dinosaur name and what they looked like.
Then, other things like Doctor Who and history invaded my mindset, and dinosaurs faded to the back of my mind. Until last year when the Doctor Who episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship reinvigorated my love for dinosaurs.
So, what are dinosaurs? Well, they were a bunch of reptiles that were the dominant race on the planet for millions of years. Famous species include Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor and Stegosaurus.
But they’re just the dinosaurs. There were also pterasaurs, plesiosaurs, pilosaurs, nothasaurs, icthyosaurs and giant crocodiles. Yeah, giant crocodiles.
So, let’s look at the top 10 awesomest Mesozoic creatures…
At first glance these just seem like giant chickens, but this is a chicken the size of a T-Rex that hunted dinosaurs in the deserts of prehistoric Mongolia (hoped you booked a holiday there as we’re going to be going back there a lot). Gigantoraptor isn’t really a bird, but it is a feathered dinosaur 35 times the size of a chicken. With claws! That is SCARY!
This thing was even BIGGER than the biggest shark! In fact, it is the BIGGEST PREDATOR EVER! Over 25 metres long, and able to munch up other sea reptiles in one gulp. It was the apex predator of Jurassic waters for millions of years. And for good reason. It had jaws the size of a grown man!
In Mongolia (told you we’d come back), one of the dominant predators was Velociraptor. Hunting in packs against groups of herbivores, these small dinosaurs have vicious claws on their feet. Jumping onto their prey, they were able to slash the victim’s neck with their feet and then eat them.
This may just seem like a normal dinosaur, but actually it’s not. This is the largest dinosaur found in Antarctica, which were forests and plains millions of years ago. It also had an interesting crest, giving it the nickname ‘Elvisaurus’, due to the crest looking like Elvis’s haircut from the 1950’s.
The heaviest dinosaur and one of the largest, this sauropod can tackle the largest predators with ease. The reason this one gets the spot is because it’s so huge and just awe-inspiring to look at. But not even the biggest sauropods could tackle…
What can tackle the biggest sauropod? A predator even larger than Tyrannosaurus. These giant predators tackled Argentinosaurus and other herbivores. They attacked in huge groups and surrounded their prey, taking huge chunks out of them until they bled to death. Think Tyrannosaurus was the biggest predator? Say hello to this awesome creature!
One of the only fish eating dinosaurs, this huge dinosaur from Surrey (YAY! NEAR WHERE I LIVE! YAY!) had a hook claw on its hand to scoop up giant fish from rivers. Its diet was purely fish, making it a hugely unique dinosaur. Its also a British dinosaur! So now…
Back to Mongolia again (but this will be the last time…. honest). This creature is unique as it has huge claws, not for killing other dinosaurs, but for defense and grabbing branches to eat. In fact, it is the only theropod (meat eating dinosaurs) which is a herbivore. It’s so strange looking!
When part of eastern Europe were a collection of small islands, the sauropods and other dinosaurs were feasted upon by giant pterasaurs the size of giraffes! I am not kidding, they were that tall! Hatzegopteryx was also perfectly capable of walking on the ground to pluck prey from the grass. This is one creature I’m glad is extinct! But it’s just SO COOL!
Want to go bigger than Giganotosaurus? Well, this is that dinosaur. Over 16 metres long, this huge creature lurked in the swamps of north Africa, eating fish. Yes, the biggest theropod ate FISH! That doesn’t excuse its awesome design and that huge sail which looks so cool! And while I haven’t seen it, the third Jurassic Park film apparently has Spinosaurus eating a T-Rex! That’s… just… stupid! (Although the first Jurassic Park film looks cool! I’ll find out this November!)
So, what makes dinosaurs so cool? Probably just the fact that they don’t look like anything alive today , making them very iconic. What are your favourite dinosaurs?