Discover the characteristics and types of herbivorous dinosaurs, some wonderful beings that existed millions of years ago and that today still do not stop surprising those who study them. Keep reading so you can learn with us more about these amazing animals.
Table of Contents
- 1 Herbivorous dinosaurs: Characteristics and types
- 2 Were there herbivorous dinosaurs?
- 3 Did they have teeth for eating and chewing?
- 4 What kind of vegetation did they eat?
- 5 herbivorous dinosaur species
Herbivorous dinosaurs: Characteristics and types
Dinosaurs are usually thought of as only carnivorous animals when the reality is that there were those that fed on vegetables, fruits and leaves, so they were herbivorous animals, many of them were large or at least their necks were quite long, characteristic that served them to reach the branches of the trees.
These types of dinosaurs Herbivores were even larger than many of the carnivores, so that if this had not been the case, their diet would not have been based on leaves and vegetation of large trees.
Were there herbivorous dinosaurs?
Although for many it is a surprise, the truth is that, if this class of herbivorous dinosaurs existed, it is strange since these animals are always thought of as fierce and dangerous, even their name translated means terrible lizard.
These were at the top of the food pyramid in which they remained until the day they became completely extinct, which happened more than sixty million years ago; These animals lived in three different times, which were called:
Did they have teeth for eating and chewing?
A curiosity that is obvious is the possession of teeth that they may or may not have, the answer to this great member is positive, if they had them, with which they helped themselves for their diet that was based on plants and leaves which many Sometimes it was not easy to digest.
Experts say that due to this characteristic of their diet, these animals spent a large part of their day to day chewing and eating.
It is established that there was a kind of herbivorous dinosaur, its teeth were like scissors which facilitated its feeding, since with them it was dedicated to crushing them for better digestion, this was the so-called Psittacosaurus which had a beak to pluck the branches that were I am going to eat.
But there are other species such as the so-called Lufengosaurus, which is estimated to have swallowed whole when feeding since its teeth were not large, they only served to tear out what it was going to eat but not to chew.
What kind of vegetation did they eat?
As previously mentioned, their primary diet resided in leaves, as far as grass was not part of their diet since it was non-existent at the time, it developed two decades after these animals became extinct.
Its long neck was its main tool to feed itself together with its teeth, often in the form of a clamp with which they cut leaves or branches such as pine trees, some dinosaurs that can be mentioned in this regard are the Shunosaurys.
Another dinosaur that fed on pineapple and flowers is the one called Saurolophus while the so-called Triceratops was dedicated to cutting hard ferns and those plants called horsetail.
herbivorous dinosaur species
There were countless plant-eating dinosaurs, there is a great diversity of species, but the best known of all was the so-called Diplodocus, which will be discussed in greater detail in the following segments, the highlight of this animal was its large size since it could reach almost thirty meters high while its weight was around twenty tons.
One that stands out for its long neck was the Mamenquisaur since it reached 25 meters, however, its body was smaller, its fossils have been found in the United States, while the one mentioned above was obtained in Asia.
Herbivorous dinosaurs include:
This is another of the most outstanding because on its back it had some plates that fulfilled the function of protecting it and not only this, but it was the way of courting in moments of reproduction with other species.
Another very curious fact is its brain since it was the size of a walnut, while in its tail it had a form of defense that it used when facing other dinosaurs, since it had spikes at the end of it which often prevented it from being eaten by other dinosaurs.
Its period of life was in the Jurassic era within what is now known as North America, however, in the current century in Europe a fossil of this species was obtained, thus indicating that they also inhabited the European continent.
It also had spines and on its tail it had a bone mallet which it implemented at times when it needed to defend itself, that is, when it was attacked by another dinosaur. But not only his tail was part of his defense, but also his body was quite heavy and hard so those who tried to attack him had to deal with all that mechanism.
When its name is translated, the definition of stiff lizard is obtained, which gives meaning to its hard body, in addition to its length it reached almost ten meters in length while its weight was greater than four thousand kilograms, its hind legs were longer than the ones ahead.
It is considered one of the most amazing, which was also called Apatiosaurus, these date from a little over one hundred and fifty million years ago, fossils have been found in North America, this being one of the largest that we have today. record counting at least thirty meters from head to foot.
The fossils that have been obtained date from the Jurassic period, it should be noted that although most have been obtained in North America there were also some in Europe and Africa. The family they came from was the Diplocidae.
It is also considered one of the largest, which could weigh up to eighty tons, its front legs were larger than the back and its neck was quite long.
It is usually compared to giraffes today, the height of those was at least thirteen meters while long they could reach up to twenty-three meters in length.
His nostrils were on the top of his head and the period in which they are located is between the Jurassic and the Cenomanian.
The most important
This is currently well known since its graphic representation appeared in the filming of the movie Jurassic Park. It dates from more than seventy million years ago, that is to say that its period of existence was in the so-called Cretaceous.
An animal with which this dinosaur can be compared today are the ostriches, which in addition to their physique also had similarities regarding their amazing speed. His tail was quite long which helped him to maintain his balance, and this same as the aforementioned appears on television in the series The Lost World.
Its data period is in the Cretaceous which is seventy-five million years ago, it can be differentiated from others because it has a crest on its head. It is important to mention that this is part of those called "duck beak", its length is at least ten meters.
Like many of those already mentioned, its fossils have been found in North America for the most part; a rather striking feature is that he could walk on two or four legs as needed.
One difference with many dinosaurs of the time is that it was not so tall, however, it weighed about twenty-five tons, the period from which it dates is the Jurassic, its fossils have been obtained on the African and European continents.
Another difference was their legs since these were longer than those of the rest of the sauropods. His head was small, he walked on his four legs, his neck was very long and his tail had at least forty vertebrae so it was long enough; It inhabited vast plains and open forests.
On its head there were horns, it is considered the largest of all the dinosaurs that had horns. Its period dates back to the end of the Cretaceous, its fossils have been obtained in North America.
It had a cranial platform, it walked on its four legs, if you want to compare it with any current animal it could be with the rhinoceros; A curious fact about them is that to date they have not obtained a complete skeleton, however, there is very complete data on the matter.
This is quite similar to the so-called ankylosaur, this belongs to the ankylosaurid family, which when translated means armored head, so you can imagine its strong head.
It was discovered last century, however, it dates back more than eighty years as revealed by its fossils, which were obtained both in North America and Canada. They were approximately six meters long while only two meters tall.
This is a unique species, when translating its name the following is obtained "thick-headed lizard", its period of existence dates back to the Cretaceous; the length of this animal usually reached five meters.
A very curious characteristic of this animal was the large size of its head, which at the bone level was very thick, even reaching twenty centimeters. But also his head was supported by a neck that was not very large or at least not proportional to its size.
Around his entire neck he had a crown which was made of bone material, his fossils have been obtained in three states of the United States such as Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana.
This lived to end the Cretaceous period, that is, at least seventy-five million years ago, although this is not considered among the best known, its characteristics are amazing, for example, above its nostrils it had a hole from which it could be seen. estimates that it used to make sounds.
The measurements of this type of dinosaur could reach up to fifteen meters, making it the tallest of all duckbills or at least of those that are recorded, a curious fact about this dinosaur is that currently only five have been achieved fossils of them and all in the same place, so it is concluded that they lived in herds.
Of all the dinosaurs mentioned above, this is the one that dates from the closest times, since it is estimated that it lived about five million years ago. His family is the Teratopsids and he was very similar to the triceratops that was previously discussed, he had horns, which he used, but evade all those who were going to attack them. Their weight was around three tons, they had a lot of strength and power.
In the middle of his nose he had another horn, which could have a length of sixty centimeters, also being a potential instrument for his defense.
Among all the stegosaurids, this is the one that was first known for the XNUMXs and XNUMXs, it is considered that it did not have a great evolution, even less than the stegosaurus.
From the back to its tail it had spines or spikes, which were fifty centimeters high, its tail was its greatest defense mechanism since it had a double row of spikes.
Experts are still in debate regarding its size, since many say that they only reached four meters while others double that count, establishing that they reach eight meters in height.
This dates from more than one hundred and fifty million years ago, so its period is the Jurassic, the fossils have been obtained in what is now known as the United States. The bones that were first obtained from these animals were only about forty-three years ago, when their name is translated, the word “double” is obtained, which physically represents the eggs that it had in its tail.
Of all the dinosaurs mentioned, this could be the largest, reaching twenty-five meters in height, so it reached the highest branches of the trees. These have been heavily depicted in movies, with huge necks, powerful legs, and admirable size.
Finally, we have this brachiosaurus dinosaur, like another of the herbivorous dynasaurs, which also had a long neck, which according to experts it is estimated that it did not have great flexibility, its fossils have been found in the United States and date from the Upper Jurassic.
When comparing his head with his neck, it is established that he had a proportionally smaller size, his body was inclined towards the front of his body. Their food was the tops of the trees that reached up to ten meters.