What is a dinosaur? Definition and appearances

What is a dinosaur

In this article we are going to explain what dinosaurs are and we also outline the main features of this group of animal.

What is Palaeontology?

Let’s start our journey by talking about the scienze that is involved in studying dinosaurs. That is the Palaeontology, the study of ancient forms of life. The main materials of this scienze are the fossils, a preserved evidence about the existence of organisms that are exinct nowadays.

The most common type of fossils are bones, but of fossils include also footprint, coprolites, eggshell and, very rarely, also impressions of soft tissues, like skin and feathers.

What is a Dinosaur?

Skull and

Ornitischian and Saurischian

Ornitischia and Saurischia
Ornitischia and Saurischia

Five major groups of Dinosaurs

Starting from the Saurischian, this order contains two major groups of dinosaurs:

  • Sauropods: the famous long-neck ones. This type of dinosaurs where the largest creatures ever walked on Earth. They stood on 4 legs and they were herbivorous. The cervical vertebrae where filled with a system of air sacks in order to reduce the huge weight.


Diplodocus carnegii - Statue for 3D printing
My 3D printable model of a Diplodocus carnegie, available here.


Extraordinary discoverings

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