Extinct for nearly 66 million years, dinosaurs were among the most unique creatures to ever walk the earth; there are truly no animals today that share much resemblance to dinosaurs, except for birds, which are often considered by scientists to be a classification of dinosaurs. Having ruled the earth for a period of nearly 150 million years, paleontologists have uncovered a number of really strange and weird facts about dinosaurs. From having absurdly large teeth to having a literally very questionable mating practice, here are our top ten really weird facts about dinosaurs.
10. Most Dinosaurs Were Vegetarians
Vegans, whiny organic-food bloggers, outspoken plant lovers, and just about everyone who shops at Whole Foods Market: pack up your bags and just give up. Really, just do it right now. Dinosaurs already beat you to the punchline: they loved the earth and wanted to let other life live more than we humans do. They were ethical, respectful of moving flesh, as the majority of dinosaurs were indeed vegetarians. That doesn’t mean there weren’t meat eaters; we all know the voracious appetite of the velociraptor and T-Rex, thanks to Jurassic Park. Basically, if a dinosaur stood on all four feet, it was a vegetarian, and if it stood on two feet, it was a carnivore.
9. The Brain of the Stegosaurus Was About the Size of One Dense Brazil Nut
Stegosauruses had an extremely low brain to body mass. Their brain weighed approximately three ounces, was the size of about two dense walnuts, and their body mass was approximately 5 tons, which is heavier than most cars on the road today. Can you imagine if your car’s engine were the size of a walnut? Can you imagine if your brain had the same overall ratio to your body mass…your brain would be far less than the size of a split pea! This explains why stegosauruses likely had limited mobility and likely little brain capacity.
8. One Dinosaur Could Run Nearly 40 Miles Per Hour
So you are driving in traffic, and all of the sudden, you see a Dromiceiomimus running towards your car really fast. You say to yourself “NBD, I’ll just drive faster.” So you hit the acceleration, take the car to 30 miles per hour, and that pesky Dromiceiomimus is catching up to you. Eventually, you take the car to 40 miles per hour, only to see the predatory dinosaur version of Usain Bolt catching up to you. How frightening would it be if this creature still existed today, that our own vehicles would not able to outrun it in normal daytime traffic?
7. This Dinosaur, Popularized By The Land Before Time, Weighed As Much As 17 Elephants.
Does everyone remember Little Foot? You know, the cute little dinosaur whose mother passes away in the beginning of the classic Amblin Entertainment film The Land Before Time. I loved Little Foot while growing up, constantly watching his journey through hardships and prejudices. And you know what, he would grow up to be one of the largest species of animals that ever existed. The Brachiosaurus weighed 80 tons, the size of 17 large elephants. Imagine if we had zoos and were able to put Brachiosauruses in zoos today – that would be an incredible sight.
6. Although There Are Millions of Dinosaur Fossils That Have been Around For As Much As 230 Million Years, the First Dinosaur Fossil Was Not Discovered Until 1822.
In an attempt to figure out the origins of the iguanodon, an English obstetrician turned paleontologist named Gideon Mantell discovered, before anyone else in all of recorded human history, discovered the first dinosaur fossil. Since then, an entire field dedicated to the uncovering of dinosaurs, ancient fossils, and Cretaceous era artifacts has come about, widely known throughout the world as paleontology. I guess this is one of those instances where an accident leads to a major discovery!