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These scientists are digging for fossils Fossilized bones tell the story of dinosaurs, animals that were once living creatures and appeared on Earth some two hundred and twenty-five million years ago Dinosaurs dominated the planet for a hundred and fifty million years much longer than people have existed. If you took all the time from the moment dinosaurs appeared until now and shrank it into a single day... then at midnight dinosaurs first walked the Earth, their flourishing at noon, and don't go extinct until 5 in the afternoon. In contrast, the first modern humans don't appear until a minute and a half before midnight. Dinosaurs came in many shapes and sizes. The smallest dinosaur was less than 3 feet long. The largest were plant-eating giants called "Sauropods". Longer than a city bus. this Sauropod called "Jobaria" weighed close to 50 thousand pounds. To sustain its enormous body, it would endlessly grab branches and leaves and swallow them down a 20-foot throat that's a neck as high as a two-storey house. With each step, a weight greater than an eight-ton wrecking ball would hit the earth. Despite their gigantic size... dinosaurs share some traits with modern animals. Like today's reptiles, most, if not all, dinosaurs laid eggs. This Oviraptor died while sitting on her nest. Its mate probably brought food to the nest like birds do. The mother tended her eggs and... like a bird, she prodded them into a circle. Many plant-eating dinosaurs lived in herds probably to defend themselves against the meat-eating... or carnivorous dinosaurs who hunted them. But six-five million years ago... something happened that brought an abrupt end... to the dinosaur age. No one knows exactly why... but in a mass extinction dinosaurs suddenly vanished. Most scientists think the killer came from outer space: a giant comet or asteroid smashed into the Earth drawing massive clouds of dust into the atmosphere. As the planet grew cold and dark, the dinosaurs died off. While the last prehistoric dinosaur is long gone, scientists believe their descendants may live on. The skeletons of certain dinosaurs like these... are strikingly similar to modern birds. The common ancestor of these birds was probably a small two-legged meat-eating dinosaur. As the digging and research continues.. each new find may help prove... the dinosaurs did not really go extinct, after all, and that birds are, in fact... living, breathing and flying dinosaurs.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 10 seconds
Country: United States
Language: Delaware
Producer: National Geographic
Views: 190
Posted by: mjulia33 on Jul 19, 2010

They ruled the Earth for more than 160 million years, but much about how dinosaurs lived and died remains a mystery. See what we know and don't know about the age of dinos.

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