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D.

Dacentrurus

Dacentrurus

The original uploader was Smokeybjb at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Armoured
Lived:Late Jurassic, 154 – 150 Million years ago
Weight:5,000kg 
Length10m / 32.9ft
Diet:Herbivorous

Dacentrurus translated means “tail full of points” and was a large armoured dinosaur that lived in Europe during the late Jurassic Period.

In 1874 a local brick company in Wiltshire, England, reported a fossil find in one of its Quarry’s outside a town called Swindon. During the excavation the fossil was broken up as the huge block of block of clay crumbled when the 3 tonne block was being moved. So the remains the transported back to London and inspected by palaeontologists.

It was originally named Omosaurus in1875 but was changed to Dacentrurus in 1902 as the name was already taken and there have been other fossil discoveries in France, Portugal, and Spain.

Dacentrurus was a large stegosaurid, and has often been compared to Stegosaurus, but its different due the configurations of its spike and plates which were used to protect and defend itself against potential theropod predators. Like all armoured dinosaurs Dacentrurus was a herbivorous.                 

Daspletosaurus

Daspletosaurus

Durbed, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Large theropod
Lived:Late Cretaceous, 79.5 – 74 Million years ago
Weight:2,500kg 
Length8 – 9m / 26 – 30ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Daspletosaurus translates to “frightful lizard”, and is a close relative to the slightly bigger therapod dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex. Like the T- Rex, Daspletosaurus was at the top of the food chain, an apex predator that lived in North America and Canada.

The main differences between Daspletosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus rex is it was smaller but had a bigger build, it had bigger teeth, and its feet were shorter. There has been evidence that they hunted in packs. Remains found together in Canada showed there was three Daspletosaurus together, with the likely hood that they were washed together was small scientists have stated. There were remains also of 5 Hadrosaurs in the same place and so speculation still remains as to how they all died. One theory was Daspletosaurus found the dead dinosaurs and were feeding off them and then died themselves, possibly from volcanic event. But no one knows for sure.

Daspletosaurus’s skull was over 1 meter (3ft 3 inches) in length, it walked on its hind legs, and had a long, heavy tail which helped it counter its weight from its head and torso.  

Datousaurus

Datousaurus

Finblanco, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Sauropod
Lived:Mid Jurassic, 170 Million years ago
Weight:18,000kg 
Length15m / 49ft
Diet:Herbivorous

Datousaurus translated means either the “chieftain lizard”, or the “big-headed lizard”. This comes from a Chinese nickname of the “chieftain dragon” and is in reference to the large head of this dinosaur.

It was discovered in 1984 and only two partial skeletons have so far been discovered which means all sizes and weights associated are estimates only. We do know it was a sauropod dinosaur that it would have shared its habitat with other sauropods such as Shunosaurus and Protognathosaurus, as well as a stegosaur Huayangosaurus, and carnivorous Gasosaurus.

Its thought that Datousaurus was closely related to Shunosaurus, and it had a higher reach and teeth were more of a spoon shape. This is thought by scientists that it meant they both fed on different vegetation that were possibly at different heights. This was thought to have happened with other sauropods and would have reduced the competition for food. 

    

Deinocheirus

Deinocheirus

FunkMonk (Michael B. H.), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Large theropod
Lived:Late Cretaceous, 70 Million years ago
Weight:6,400kg 
Length11m / 36ft
Diet:Omnivorous

Deinocheirus is Greek for “horrible hand” which is a reference to its large size  hands and claws. It was named after some fossils were found in Mongolia in 1965 which included a pair of arms. 

It was over 50 years until more fossils of Deinocheirus were discovered when two complete skeletons were repatriated in 2014 from Belgium that were thought to have been purchased on the black market. This was then taken to the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs.

Deinocheirus was the largest ostrich dinosaur (ornithomimosaurs) yet discovered and scientists thought it had a specialised diet than other ostrich dinosaurs due to the shape of its skull. Its beak was similar to a modern day duck which meant it may have ate food from water in the form of vegetation. Like all ornithomimosaurs, it is thought Deinocheirus fed on both plants and small animals.  Its thought that the habitat to where it lived around rivers was full of a wide array of organisms and aquatic animals that it could have potentially fed on as well as lush plantation.

         

Deinonychus

Deinonychus

Fred Wierum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Small theropod
Lived:Early Cretaceous, 115 – 108 Million years ago
Weight:8,000kg 
Length3.4m / 11ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Deinonychus was far from being one of the largest carnivorous Dinosaurs, but what it lacked in size it made up for in intelligence, terrifying looks, and hunting skills. This scary looking Dinosaur was what the Director of Jurassic Park films based the terrifying Velociraptor on in the films.

With Deinonychus being described as being a fleet-footed Dinosaur it is often assumed that Deinonychus could run incredibly fast, as was dramatized in the Jurassic Park films running at Olympic pace chasing down its prey. This unfortunately isn’t true. It is hypothesised that Deinonychus could ‘trot’ at a leisurely 6mph. The average walking pace of a human is around 3-4mph so certainly not that quick at all.

Deinonychus was a predator or carnivorous. It is widely accepted that Deinonychus would have exhibited feeding behaviour like that of modern day Komodo dragons or crocodiles.

The most dominant Deinonychus would have eaten first and would have been territorial around its prey. There is some speculation that Deinonychus might have lived and hunted in packs.

Deltadromeus

Deltadromeus

Ornitholestes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Large theropod
Lived:Late Cretaceous, 95 Million years ago
Weight:1,050kg 
Length8m / 26.4ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Deltadromeus translated means “delta runner” and was named in 1996 by Professor of palaeontology Paul Sereno. Deltadromeus was a theropod dinosaur from North Africa and fossils have been found in Morocco.  

There is much debate regarding the future of Deltadromeus because there is another theropod called Bahariasaurus that was named in 1934, and it has been suggested that they were the same dinosaur. Unfortunately the fossil of Bahariasaurus was destroyed in WW2 so it is impossible for the fossils to be compared. Should it ever be proved then Deltadromeus would come under Bahariasaurus.

Deltadromeus like all theropods was a carnivore and with a light and slim build was probably a good runner. It was likely to be covered in scales and not feathers, it had vicious claws and would have lashed out at its prey until they died. As it was a small frame it would have had to use its claws as it was not suited for fighting.     

Dicraeosaurus

Dicraeosaurus

ДиБгд, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Sauropod
Lived:Late Jurassic, 150 – 135 Million years ago
Weight:5,000kg 
Length12m / 39ft
Diet:Herbivorous

Dicraeosaurus was a sauropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Tanzania and Zimbabwe, Africa. The name means “two forked lizard”, which comes from the spines that came from the vertebrae. It was a small dinosaur that was slightly bigger than Amargasaurus which is the only other known member in its group.

Dicraeosaurus was a herbivore and also found at the fossil site was remains of Giraffatitan, and Kentrosaurus. Scientists believed that Dicraeosaurus would therefore have little competition with the vegetation it was feeding on due to the height differences. 

Dicraeosaurus was a short necked, short tailed sauropod and so it did not fit the classic sauropod look. As the name suggests its most distinguishing feature was its “Y” shaped spine on each of its neck vertebrae. They all sloped away from the body except four that sloped towards the other way, which were closest to the skull.  

It was named in 1914 by Werner Martin Janensch who was a German palaeontologist.      

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus

ДиБгд, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Sauropod
Lived:Late Jurassic, 193 Million years ago
Weight:400kg 
Length7m / 22.9ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Dilophosaurus means “two-crested lizard” and as the name suggests this was due to the crests that it had on his head. In the 1993 Jurassic Park movie, this dinosaur was incorrectly portrayed as having a fluttering neck crest when it was purely Hollywood theatrics.

It was a predator by nature and Dilophosaurus was one of the earliest large predator dinosaurs. The theropods would evolve into being some of the biggest and most fierce predators that have ever roamed earth and Dilophosaurus played its part in the process.

Its teeth were discovered to be weak and so it is thought that Dilophosaurus fed on fish and small animals as it did not have the capability in fighting bigger prey. Some scientists did think they could have hunted in packs as some fossils have been found together but there was no other evidence supporting this and therefore was dismissed as the fossils could have been found together due to floods or other circumstances.

Dilophosaurus probably lived in areas that were rich in vegetation such as forests, or rain forests where it was able to feed in nearby rivers, streams, and other water sources. Heavy rainfall was likely in its environment.

Diplodocus

Diplodocus

DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Sauropod
Lived:Late Jurassic, 154-152 million years ago
Weight:20,000kg 
Length23m / 43ft
Diet:Herbivorous

Diplodocus was one of the longest land animals that has ever lived. It was longer than a tennis court and weighed as much as two fully grown elephants combined. If you took 20 ten year old children and lied them down so that they were head to foot together, that would be close enough to demonstrate the size of the diplodocus.

Diplodocus ate plants and was able to reach plants both on the ground and high in the trees. Scientists have also speculated that they even fed on submerged water pants that were located on riverbeds.

Interestingly the Diplodocus had forward pointing teeth that were bunched and at the front of its mouth. The teeth were delicate and would be replaced rapidly. One study conducted that its tooth replacement rate was one every 35 days, if that was the case it meant the Diplodocus ate abrasive foods. According to one study the Diplodocus could not have been able to strip bark off trees due to its jaw muscles being able to move sideways rather than the classic vertical biting motion. The experts concluded that this meant the diplodocus was best suited to eat ferns and soft leaves off of trees.

Diplodocus lived in, what is now, North America 154 to 152 million years ago and this was during the late Jurassic period. Diplodocus was a herbivorous and lived in an environment that had wet and dry seasons, swampy lowlands, lakes and rivers.

There is little known about the nesting habits of the Diplodocus and sauropods in general, although its thought they laid their eggs in shallow pits located in communal areas.

Dromaeosaurus

Dromaeosaurus_Restoration

Fred Wierum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Small theropod
Lived:Late Cretaceous, 80 – 69 million years ago
Weight:15kg / 33Ibs
Length1.8m / 5.9ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Dromaeosaurus was a theropod dinosaur that lived in Canada and Western United States and was named in 1922 by palaeontologists William Diller Matthew and Barnum Brown. The fossils from which the name originated from were found at the famous Dinosaur Park Formation, Canada where several species of dinosaurs have been discovered. These fossils were first unearthed in 1914.

Its full name given to the type species was Dromaeosaurus albertensis of which the generic name of Dromaeosaurus means “runner lizard” and the specific name was after the location in which it was found, Alberta, a Canadian province. 

Dromaeosaurus was a medium sized carnivore with its teeth being well worn which suggested to scientists that its jaws were used crushing and tearing rather than just biting through flesh. One scientist published his findings which concluded Dromaeosaurus had three times more power in its bite than Velociraptor had and so its jaws were its primary hunting tool rather than its claws.       

 

Dromiceiomimus

Dromiceiomimus

Conty, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Theropod
Lived:Late Cretaceous, 74 – 70 million years ago
Weight:100kg / 220Ibs
Length3.5m / 11.4ft
Diet:Omnivorous

Dromiceiomimus was a ornithomimid theropod, which means it comes from a family of dinosaurs that were fast runners and were remarkably similar to modern day Ostriches and were known to exist mainly from the Late Cretaceous Period. 

Dromiceiomimus was named in 1926 as D.brevitertius after fossils were found in Alberta, Canada. On review in 1972 the palaeontologist Dale Alan Russell named  Dromiceiomimus as a new genus which meant “emu mimic” as a reference to its features that were similar the the Emu.

Since then there have been many studies with scientists disagreeing on whether Dromiceiomimus was a separate genus or not. 

Dromiceiomimus was said to be one of, if not the fastest dinosaur with possible running speeds of 40 – 50 mph (64 – 80 kmph). It diet consisted of vegetation and insects and possibly small lizards and animals and its thought they killed prey using the talons on their feet.

     

Dryosaurus

Dryosaurus

Leví Bernardo Martínez, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Ornithopod
Lived:Late Jurassic, 155 – 140 million years ago
Weight:77 – 91kg / 170 – 200Ibs
Length2.4 – 4.3m / 8 – 14ft
Diet:Herbivorous

Dryosaurus was discovered in 1876 after fossils were found in the United States, they were later named in 1894 by Professor Othniel Charles Marsh. The name means “oak lizard” in reference to the habitat of the forest it lived in. 

Dryosaurus had long legs, a long tail, and a long neck but they had short arms. It was a herbivorous that fed on low growing plantation in floodplains. Dryosaurus was probably quick due to its strong legs and agile body, and its speed was probably the best defence against the predatory dinosaurs.

Dryosaurus had a beak which was used to crop plants and it had cheeks that prevented food from spilling out the sides of its mouth. It could have used its beak to burrow and hide from predators that it could not out run. Being a herbivorous the lush environment it lived in meant its food supply didn’t run out and it shared its environment with other dinosaurs including Triceratops.   

     

Dryptosaurus

Dryptosaurus

Josep Asensi: http://durbed.deviantart.com, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Large theropod
Lived:Late Cretaceous, 67 million years ago
Weight:1,500kg
Length7.5m / 25ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Dryptosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous period 67 million years ago in North America, and was named in 1866 and later renamed in 1877. It was originally named “Laelaps” by palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope in 1866 but his arch rival palaeontologist Othniel Marsh renamed the dinosaur Dryptosaurus because the original name was already associated with a type of mite. This probably did not go down well with Cope as they were both bitter rivals in what has been described as the “bone wars”.

One of Dryptosaurus most distinguished features was its long arms in comparison to later family members. This is where its name which translates to “tearing lizard” originates from as they believed that it used its claws to rip apart its prey and so its arms were its main killing tools. Its jaws were less powerful than later tyrannosauroids from which we saw features change to prioritise the biting power rather than the power in their arms to kill their prey.  

 

  

Dubreuillosaurus

Dubreuillosaurus

Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Type:Large theropod
Lived:Late Jurassic, 169 – 164 million years ago
Weight:250kg / 550Ibs
Length5 – 9m / 16 – 30ft
Diet:Carnivorous

Dubreuillosaurus was a theropod dinosaur which was discovered in 1994, but only excavated in 1998 at a quarry in Normandy, France. It was named by Ronan Allain and the original name was changed to Dubreuillosaurus in 2005 (although its officially 2002 due to the previous name). The name change was because Dubreuillosaurus was then allocated to a different genus until Allain changed his mind based on his research.

When Dubreuillosaurus was alive, Europe, as we know it now, had a number of islands and Dubreuillosaurus was discovered in sedimentary rocks. This suggests that it may have hunted fish or other marine life as other dinosaurs it could prey on would have been minimal. The fossil did not show signs of dwarfism that has been shown on other dinosaurs that lived on these islands. The dwarfism was caused by evolution to adapt to their smaller environments. 

The skull of  Dubreuillosaurus was long which may have meant it adapted to catch fish in waters. 

 

  

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Last Updated on 02/07/2021 by admin