The Cretaceous Period was a time where dinosaurs that possessed some of the same characteristics of the animals of today. For example, the Ankylosaurus had a body shaped like a turtle with skin that resembled the crocodile. The Iguanodon shared the same kind of structure of teeth as the iguanas of today. In this article, you will learn more about the dinosaurs that lived between 145 and 65 million years ago.
The name of the Iguanodon is quite fitting for this dinosaur species, as it possessed teeth that were nearly identical to the teeth of today’s iguana. The dinosaur was large and estimated to reach 30 feet in length when it was fully grown. Today, the largest animal on land is the African Bush Elephant, which reaches nearly 20 feet in length. Complete skeletons of this species have been found in regions of Northern Europe, England, North America, Russia, and Mexico.
The fossils of the Iguanodon also show an interesting feature, which are large horny spikes that served as thumbs. It is thought that this characteristics helped during their times of defense against predators that emerged during the Early Cretaceous period. Other scientists believe the spikes were used to climb, which is not likely since the creatures were so large.
The Ankylosaurus is one of those dinosaurs that you encounter during your studies of the Jurassic Period. It is a highly recognizable member of the dino world due to its distinguishing body parts. With a bony armor that resembled the shell of a turtle, the Ankylosaurus was pretty good at preying on other animals and may have even taken down larger species in its time.
The Ankylosaurus had a tail that was covered in defensive spikes and two chunks of bone that worked as a ‘club’ , perfect for breaking bones of prey or defending itself. Scientists often call this species ‘a living tank’ and have even suggested that the armor could resist the penetration of bullets. Other features of the dinosaur include a powerful jaw, and possibly more than one stomach , just like the cows of today.
Thriving during the late Cretaceous Period, the Triceratops is another one of those recognizable dinosaurs because of the physical features it possessed. The creature has been compared to the rhinoceros because it had three horns that came out of its head. A solid shield (that resembles armor) was found about the neck of the dinosaur as well. The Triceratops is the last dinosaur to be dated before the creatures started to become extinct. They are often referred to as the last species of dinosaurs.
The majority of fossils represented the Triceratops have been found together to suggest that the creatures stuck together and traveled in herds. Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana are some of the places in the United States where the fossils for the Triceratops have been discovered.