Muttaburrasaurus is named after Muttaburra, a town in central Queensland. This is where its remains were first found in 1963. It was a herbivore that lived 110-98 million years ago during the Middle Cretaceous Period. Muttaburrasaurus had very powerful jaws equipped with shearing teeth, as well as a horny beak for nipping at vegetation. It also had a large bump on its snout. This might have been used to produce distinctive calls, or for display purposes.
Stegosaurus was a herbivore and had a toothless beak for nipping at plants. It lived in the Late Jurassic Period, about 155-145 million years ago in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, in the USA. Stegosaurus has a reputation for having a small brain and one of the lowest-brain-to-body ratios among dinosaurs. It was long thought their brain was the size of a walnut, but scientists now believe it was the size and shape of a bent hot dog. It’s easy to recognise Stegosaurus thanks to the two distinctive rows of bony plates along its back. These plates made it appear to be larger and were also used to regulate its body temperature.
Triceratops, with its three horns and bony frill around the back of its head, is one of the most recognisable dinosaurs. Part of the Ceratopsidae family, its name means ‘Three-horned face’. Triceratops’ distinctive bony frill was possibly used for defence, display or temperature regulation. Its horny beak was used for plucking plants.
The biggest land predator of all time is Tyrannosaurus, whose name means ‘Tyrant lizard’. Tyrannosaurus’ were carnivores with a keen sense of smell, sight and sound. They fought
among themselves and were possibly cannibals. However, their tiny two fingered arms were far too small to reach their mouths. Tyrannosaurus had a massive head, and powerful jaws containing teeth that were up to 20 centimetres long with saw-like edges.
The name Maiasaura, means ‘Good Mother Lizard’ and comes from the Greek goddess Maia.
To emphasize this, the feminine form of saurus, which is saura was used. Its maternal name refers to the fact that a nesting colony of eggs, embryos and young animals were found. These showed that Maiasaura fed its young while they were in the nest, the first time such evidence was obtained for a dinosaur. Maiasaura nested in extremely large colonies with as many as 10,000 individual dinosaurs.
They also travelled in large herds, they did this to help protect each other.
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