Dinosaur Fossils

Dinosaur fossil

Paleontology

Dinosaur fossil

Dinosaur fossils have been totally necessary and relevant to get to know what this species was like, how many types there were, what their size was, what habits had countless other dinosaur characteristics. They have also been decisive in order to know how each of the species became extinct. Below we explain a little better what fossils are specifically, what types of fossils there are and where dinosaur fossils have been found on earth.

Oregon fossil
Tenontosaurus, seen here in an artist’s depiction, is an ornithipod dinosaur. Scientists aren’t sure yet which type of ornithopod the Oregon fossil belongs to.

What are dinosaur fossils?

Fossils are all those remains of the dinosaurs that populated the earth many years ago and that have come to the present time in the form of remains, either in better or worse conditions. When any specimen died, in most cases the scavengers ate it, so only a few remains remained that these animals could not feed on. Thus, especially the majority of dinosaur fossils correspond to the bones of these specimens. But bones are not the only fossils that have survived to this day, but the eggs of these animals, their teeth or their marked footprints in some type of terrain are also described as fossils. These last remains are more complicated to find due to their difficulty of conservation.

At this point it should be noted that of course and with total security there are extinct dinosaurs of which we will never know anything because their traces have completely disappeared with the passage of time. It is very difficult to find fossils in good condition, with which archaeologists highly value these discoveries. In most cases, to the dinosaur bone fossils that are found, synthetic parts must be added to be able to structure the skeletons and to be able to study the physiognomies of the different specimens.

Kentrosaurus-skeleton

What types of dinosaur fossils are there?

Thus, as previously explained, there are different types of dinosaur remains that can be classified within the fossil nomenclature. Next we will go on to review the most common types of fossils that are usually found and explain a little their characteristics.

First we find the bones. As already mentioned, they are the fossils that best resist the passing of the years since they decompose much less than the soft areas of the body or other types of fossils. They are usually the dinosaur fossils that can be found in museums, in addition to the fact that they are the most abundant, because they also form really impressive sets if it is possible to present a complete specimen on display.

Secondly we find the footprints, which together with the bones and also the teeth are the most common. They have great value but they do not contribute much to the study of species because it is really difficult to know which species of dinosaur is the one that left a specific footprint, unless other footprints are found nearby. On the other hand, it is possible to know some data such as the distribution of these animals or their behavior thanks to this type of fossil.

As for the teeth, after the bones they are really another type of fossil that is found very easily because they are very hard. The dinosaur teeth that can be found are really different but they are usually pointed to be able to hunt or eat grass. We also find other very curious dinosaur fossils that are nests or eggs. As they are so rare to find, they are conceived by archaeologists as relics since it really is almost impossible for this type of remains to reach the present day after so many thousands of years. Dinosaur eggs are similar to those of birds but vary in size and can measure from 30 centimetres for the largest species to the size of an olive. On some occasions they have even found embryos located inside the eggs, although this is really complicated.

stone dinosaur fossil

And finally, in addition to these types of fossils, sometimes there are other not so common remains such as claws, tail or skin. There are very few of these cases and when these remains appear they usually do so attached to different stones or rocks that have managed to preserve the remains for so many years.

Also read: Fossil Eggshells Suggest All Dinosaurs May Have Been Warm-Blooded

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