Dinosaurs have been fascinating children and adults alike for many years. Thanks to popular movie franchises, we’ve even been able to expand our love of these creatures as we’ve been allowed to imagine what these massive beasts were like.
However, many myths surround dinosaurs, and today we’ll be looking at some of the myths surrounding the largest carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs. Keep reading to discover the real truth about some of the largest animals to have ever walked this earth.
Biggest Carnivorous Dinosaurs and Their Myths
Carnivores weren’t the largest dinosaurs; there were quite a few herbivores, such as sauropods, that were much bigger. However, that doesn’t make their size any less impressive or less terrifying. Either way, these large meat-eating dinosaurs were extremely strong.
As they’re often painted as villains in many movies, it’s important to understand that they weren’t evil or even bad-tempered. They were just following their instincts, much like a modern lion would. Here are two of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs and the myths surrounding them that aren’t true.
Spinosaurus was one of the biggest carnivores discovered. It was longer and heavier than a T-Rex and was expected to reach lengths between 41-59 ft. They lived around 94 – 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
Myth: Spinosaurus Could Beat Tyrannosaurus Rex
In the Jurassic World movie, we saw Spinosaurus and T-Rex face off in an epic battle where the Spino won. Setting aside the fact that such a battle would never have occurred purely because the two missed each other by nearly 25 million years, would a Spinosaurus have won if such a battle were to occur? Experts don’t believe so.
Yes, the Spinosaurus has the size advantage, but studies have shown that it evolved to live near river beds and in the water, much like its cousin, the Baryonyx. Therefore in a battle on land, the T-Rex would have the advantage. Spinosaurus’ arms were also drooped downward, which indicates that they wouldn’t have been able to use them to grab.
Finally, Spinosaurus survived mainly on a diet of fish and the occasional Iguanodon, but their teeth would be nowhere near strong enough to break the neck of a T-Rex. On the other hand, T-Rex often hunted various dinosaurs and had strong teeth and jaws intended to break through bone and bone-like armor. Experts believe that T-Rex had a higher chance of winning in a battle between the two.
Probably one of the most iconic dinosaurs of all time, the T-Rex has often been depicted as one of the terrifying meat-eating dinosaurs to have ever lived. Tyrannosaurus Rex grew to about 40 ft in length, and they roamed the earth about 66-90 million years ago at the end of the late Cretaceous period.
Myth: Tyrannosaurus Rex Had Scales
We’ve already got a fairly solid image of Tyrannosaurus Rex in our minds, and thanks to books and movies, this image hasn’t changed much. However, we could have a completely wrong vision in our minds. The carnivorous dinosaur we picture with hardened greenish-gray scales could be completely wrong.
That’s because newer research has found traces of feathers in the fossils. As many such experts believe that T-Rex had feathers on the upper part of their heads, neck, and back. This completely changes what we’ve always believed a Tyrannosaurus Rex looked like.
Biggest Herbivorous Dinosaurs and Their Myths
Herbivorous dinosaurs were by far the biggest creatures on the planet. In fact, some sauropods were even labeled as titans due to their extremely large size. Their large size ensured that they weren’t the primary prey to some of the larger carnivores of the time. However, their large size also meant their movements were much slower and lumbering. Let’s look at some of the biggest herbivores and some common myths that just aren’t true.
These iconic long-necked dinosaurs are another fan favorite. At approximately 85 ft long, the Diplodocus was about the length of a basketball court. Despite being slightly shorter in length when compared to a fully grown Blue Whale, Diplodocus could swing its tail at an impressive 800mph, breaking the speed of sound as a defense mechanism. So they were definitely not to be messed with.
Myth: Big Sauropods Had Two Brains
Scientists believed that sauropods, including Diplodocus and Stegosaurus, had two brains for a long time. The first one is situated in their skull cavity, and the second is located in the extra-large cavity in their hips. These spaces were associated with the neural canal where the spinal cord passes. Paleontologists speculated that this large space housed a second posterior brain responsible for coordinating their legs and tails.
However, recent research suggests that this space actually houses a strange glycogen body feature, similar to what’s found in birds. This tissue is thought to store energy-rich carbohydrates.
Most of us are quite familiar with Brontosaurus from The Flintstones and other dinosaur movies. Our favorite stone-age family incorporated Brontosaurus burgers and even used them in the stone quarry like modern-day quarries would use excavators. They were believed to grow to 72ft long.
Myth: Brontosaurus Lived
It appears as though Brontosaurus never existed. It was actually a mistake made by scientists after they found a partial skeleton they called Apatosaurus. This skeleton was missing a skull, so the scientist released sketches of what he thought a full skeleton would look like using the skull of a different dinosaur as reference. A rival scientist soon found a complete skeleton, but he called this ‘new’ dinosaur Brontosaurus in his rush to one-up his competitor. However, there are still debates to this day as to whether it actually existed.
Dinosaurs are truly fascinating creatures, and the more you start learning about them and separate fact from fiction, you’ll soon realize just what amazing creatures they truly were. If you thought they were interesting after watching a movie or playing a game that featured the magnificent creatures – think again. The facts are so much more interesting.