Who was boss before the dinosaurs?
Who was boss before the dinosaurs? Large hippo-like mammal forerunner ("Placerias") that lived, and died off, during the Triassic. (National Park Service Image)
Who was boss before the dinosaurs?
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The Jurassic witnessed a world populated by dinosaurs. While giant plant-eaters munched their way through ferns and conifer forests, large carnivores chased them down for lunch.
 
At the height of the Age of Dinosaurs, they were found on every continent. They flourished in the warm environments of the time.
 
But, dinosaurs were not always so prominent. Fossil evidence shows that they arose about 230 million years ago during the Triassic period, but remained scarce as other reptiles took center stage. Many mammal forerunners, such as the large plant-eater Placerias, prospered. Huge crocodile-like animals like Smilosuchus were the top predators of the Triassic.
 
Paleontologists who study the fossil record have discovered that something big happened 200 million years ago that radically changed life on land and in the sea, paving the way for dinosaur diversification and prominence.
 
What happened was so momentous that it caused more than half of all life on Earth to go extinct. The large crocodile-like reptiles that had dominated the landscape were eradicated, as were many of the mammal forerunners.
 
Find out more about the events that opened the door for the Age of Dinosaurs. Join us on Thursday, October 8, 2015, for a "Smithsonian Science How" live webcast on How Fossils Explain the Rise of Dinosaurs, airing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT on the Q?rius website. Paleontologist Dr. Hans Sues from the National Museum of Natural History will appear live to discuss and answer questions. Get teaching resources to support your webcast experience.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/who-was-boss-dinosaurs/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
To study dinosaurs, why do scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (33)
  • gregorys-6-bar
    9/24/2015 - 11:18 p.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs because more can be found in a fossil than in a photograph. Scientists could discover specific things inside the fossil and could look at different angles that simply can't be done with a printed photo. Evidence of this was in the article when scientists looked at a fossil they discovered when dinosaurs were roaming. This article didn't really surprise me, I learned some of this in seventh grade, but since there is more to come it makes it more interesting since I don't think I know any more about this.

  • tyn-2-bar
    9/24/2015 - 11:20 p.m.

    *Face palm*
    In the Mesozoic era, when the dinosaurs existed there weren't any cameras. There weren't even any HUMANS!!

  • sofiat-4-bar
    9/24/2015 - 11:37 p.m.

    To study dinosours scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs because some of the first fossils date back to 230 million years ago and if somebody came up and said i have a picture of a dinosour they would be laughed at because its rediculous there were no cameras back then and they use fossils because with fossils they can compare them to other animals around today.

  • luket-4-bar
    9/25/2015 - 01:19 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils instead of pictures because fossils are real evidence from the age of the dinosaurs while photographs are only speculation. Also fossils make up the fossil record, which can tell scientists thing about events that may have occurred like the one in the article about 200 million years ago. I thought this article was interesting because no one really thinks about the time before the dinosaurs.

  • carolinev-2-bar
    9/25/2015 - 02:20 a.m.

    Scientist rely on fossils instead of photographs because 230 million years ago photographs were nonexistent, so today all the pictures of dinosaurs are educated guesses on what a dinosaur looked liked. Also, by analyzing fossils scientist can learn many things about dinosaurs like how old the dinosaur is and what type of dinosaur it is.

  • carsonk-2-bar
    9/25/2015 - 10:19 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs because fossils are natural sources straight from the actual species. "Paleontologists who study the fossil record have discovered that something big happened 200 million years ago that radically changed life on land and in the sea, paving the way for dinosaur diversification and prominence." This shows it's easier to find more fossils and data by searching for fossils. I found this article interesting because I learned what species were dominant before the great dinosaurs.

  • jackw-4-bar
    9/25/2015 - 10:39 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs because there were no photographs when the dinosaurs were around. This article is interesting because there is a lot of talk about dinosaurs, but not a lot about before the dinosaurs.

  • traviss-2-bar
    9/25/2015 - 10:43 a.m.

    Critical Thinking. I think scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs because they are more reliable to study.
    My opinion about this article is that i have always wanted to know about before the huge dinosaurs what were there. Like other big animals or smaller animals. I found this article intresting because they are now further exploring into a different era. It suprised me by the fact they are studying on something besides dinosaurs because it seemed they wouldn't be interested into other species.

  • charliet-orv
    9/25/2015 - 03:42 p.m.

    They rely on fossils more than photos because there were no photos at that time and no one to take them.

  • carlym-4-bar
    9/28/2015 - 12:00 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs because the only evidence they have of what the dinosaurs look like was fossils. The article says, "Fossil evidence shows that they arose about 230 million years ago during the Triassic period...Paleontologists who study the fossil record" In the quote it never says anything about scientists studying photographs. I liked this article because I found it cool that the dinosaurs weren't always dominant.

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