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Dinosaurs Glossary

A

adaptation
physical structures, characteristics or behaviors that allow an organism to survive and reproduce in its particular environment
amber
tree sap which has hardened into rock
ancient
very old
Argentina
a country in South America
asteroid
space rocks that orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter
atmosphere
the blanket of air around the earth

B

biped
a word that means walking on two feet
bird-hipped dinosaurs
see Ornithischia dinosaurs
bison
an ox-like mammal, incorrectly called a buffalo
blue whale
a baleen whale with blue skin, largest mammal ever known
bogs
wet, spongy ground of decayed plants

C

carnivore
an organism that feeds on the flesh of other animals
climate
the historical record of average weather conditions in a certain place or certain season. weather may change from day to day, but climate changes only over hundreds or thousands of years
continental drift
movement of continents resulting from the motion of earth's plates
Cretaceous
the last and final period of the Mesozoic era

D

decay
to rot away
dinosaur
the English version of dinosauria
dinosauria
" fearfully great lizard", from the Greek, deinos - "fearfully great" and sauros - "lizard."
disease
illness or sickness
drought
a period of prolonged dry weather leading to a shortage of water

E

embedded
buried or stuck in a another object such as a rock
erodes
to wear away
erosion
the act of wearing away as in rocks by the wind or water
exposing
to uncover
extinct
when none of a species exist anymore, they are said to be extinct
extinction
the complete disappearance of a type of organism

F

footprint
mark left by a foot in mud, soil or sand
fossil
remain, impression, or trace of an ancient animal or plant that has been preserved in earth's crust and is older than about 10,000 years

H

Hagerman horse
a small horse-like mammal from the Pliocene era
herbivore
an animal that eats plants
herding
moving together as a group which may be a means of protection

I

impressions
a mark produced on a surface by pressure
investigate
to look at something closely in order to learn about it

J

Jurassic
the middle time period of the Mesozoic era

L

lizard-hipped dinosaur
see Saurischia (lizard-hipped) dinosaur

M

Madagascar
an island off the Southeast coast of Africa
mammoths
a elephant- like prehistoric mammal
Mesozoic
the middle period of earth's history, 248-65 million years ago - the era of earth's history dominated by the dinosaurs
mummified
to dry or shrivel up to preserve

O

Ornithischia
also known as bird hipped dinosaur where the hips closely match that of a bird
ostrich
a large flightless bird capable of running at high speeds

P

paleontologist
a person that studies fossils
paleontology
the study of ancient life
Pliocene
a period of time approximately 10 to 2 million years ago
prehistory
before history was recorded

Q

quadruped
an animal that walks on four feet
quicksand
soft or loose sand saturated with water which can suck objects under its surface

R

reptile
cold-blooded animals with backbones

S

Saurischia
also known as lizard hipped dinosaur where the hips closely match that of a lizard
sediments
material that settles to the bottom of a liquid, often sand or soil, ground rock
species
a group of creatures related in some way
supernova
the explosion of a star

T

tar pit
a puddle of natural tar
temperature
the measure of molecular motion or the degree of heat of a substance
theories
ideas about how something might have taken place
Triassic
the first (earliest) period of the Mesozoic era

U

unearthed
to remove dirt, soil and rocks in order to uncover something

V

volcanic ash
ash which comes from a volcano's eruption
volcano
a break in the earth's crust where lava oozes

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