Dinosaurs first appeared between 247 and 240 million years ago. An extinction event wiped them out 65,5 million years ago, except for the avian dinosaurs.
Scientists think the extinction was likely because of an asteroid impact, chemicals from erupting volcanoes, climate change and other factors.
Fossils reveal that some of the more advanced dinosaurs had feathers or featherlike body covering.
In 1842, palaeontologist Richard Owen coined the term dinosaur. The Greek deinos means "terrible," and sauros means "lizard" or "reptile."
Based on the structure of the hipbones, dinosaurs are classified into two orders:
Well-known dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex, Deinonychus and Velociraptor fall into this order. Saurischians are divided into two groups.
Ornithischians include horned and frilled Triceratops, spiked Stegosaurus and armoured Ankylosaurus.
They often lived in herds and were prey to the larger species of dinosaurs.
In 2017, a study suggested that this hip-oriented classification was incorrect.
Theropods are likely related to the ornithischian dinosaurs. The theropods and Ornithischia form a newly identified group known as Ornithoscelida. If this is correct, it may explain why both theropods and Ornithischia have feathers, while other dinosaurs don't.
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