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Dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period

One of the most well-known time periods associated with dinosaurs is the Jurassic, which has spawned a handful of infamous movies (think Jurassic Park) and books. Dinosaurs that lived about 199 to 145 million years ago during this period in a geologic period that lasted from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. In this article, you will learn about some of the dinosaurs that lived at this time and where they may have roamed the earth millions of years ago.

The Jurassic Period is often referred to as the “Age of Reptiles” because this time period did not see the major extinction that other periods experienced. The middle period of the Mesozoic Era was a good time for dinosaur to flourish. Creatures that called the land their own included:

Allosaurus

With a name that translates into “different lizard,” the Allosaurus is considered the largest carnivore to live on land and was also known as the fiercest of the bunch , with the exception of the T-rex. The dinosaur possessed the distinguishing characteristic of vertebrae that differed from other dinosaurs at that time. A long heavy tail helped to keep the body of the creature balanced, especially with the huge skull it had to carry. Other features of the dinosaur include large powerful rear legs, as well as short front arms with three fingers and claws. Researchers also saw many similarities in the creature with that of a bird, including eagle-like claws and hollowed vertebrae for air sacs. It even had a wishbone.

Utah is a hot zone for finding Allosaurus fossils. The region has produced more than 40 complete skeletons. You can rest assured that the specimens you encounter in a museum most likely came from this part of the world. Other places that fossils of the dinosaur appear is in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. It is usually found amongst the remains of the following dinosaur species: Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarasaurus, and Apatosaurus.

Diplodocus

Under the tail of the Diplodocus, the bones possessed a double beam chevron formation, which contributed to the naming of the species. It was an herbivore that possessed a long neck and called the region now known as the western side of North America its home. They were known to have a rather large body structure.

The first remains of the Diplodocus were uncovered at Como Bluff in Wyoming, and then started to emerge out of Utah and Colorado. Extensive discovery of the dinosaur species took place between 1877 and 1897 with men, such as Earl Douglas and Samuel Williston leading the way. However, it was in 1878 that a well-known famous paleontologist named Othniel Marsh officially gave the Diplodocus its name.

The dinosaur walked on all fours and had a long neck that could reach heights of 27 meters. Its long tail is thought to have kept the body balanced. Other characteristics of the creature include peg-like teeth, larger hind legs than the front, laid eggs, peaceful disposition, and habits, such as grazing on the ground in a stooped-over position. At one time, this dinosaur held the record for being the tallest dinosaur.