Hi! I'm Henry and I'm 7 years old. I'm an English cocker spaniel and I cannot wait to share my new adventures. Hope you have a ROARSOME read with this new book.
Now I know everyone loves dogs but guess what everyone else ALSO loves? Dinosaurs. We thought we would take a journey back in time and have a look at some of the amazing dinosaurs that lived on our planet. Now we don't have a space ship this time and time machines haven't been invented yet so we are going to use our imagination machine . Ready for the ride?
Look how fancy our imagination machine is - space for both of us, lots of lovely buttons and comfy red leather seats!
You will probably have seen lots of amazing movies and tv programmes with dinosaurs in but sometimes they show things that are not quite right so first of all... let's clear one thing up... people... us.... human beings and dinosaurs have never EVER lived on the Earth at the same time. So if you see films with cavemen running away from a dinosaur...it never happened and was never ever possible.
Dinosaurs lived before human beings existed - 100s of millions of years ago!! That's a very very long time ago. This was called the Mesozoic period and there were three stages. Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous And at every point the Earth looked very different. But at the very start of our planet's life there one was just one big blob - remember we talked about it in our last book!
It was just one big piece of land called Pangaea and it was surrounded by just one big ocean called Panthalassa
If you look you can see how continents were all squished together.
Before we look at the main time dinosaurs were roaming the earth - the Triassic period - there was a time even longer ago that some creatures that looked like dinosaurs were here. This was called the Permian era. Trilobites
This was 300 million years ago. Long before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, humid swamp forests, giant insects and amphibious megafauna ruled the landscape of the Permian Period Meet some of the strange animals that lived during this time.
Look at these odd creatures - can you believe these roamed the planet - they loo like make-believe animals from a movie - but they were real!
There were also some HUGE bugs during this time
There was a lot more oxygen in the air which made bugs grow bigger.
Let's look at some in detail - this might freak you out! Ready? This hideous thing was as tall as a man! A huge millipede called Athropleura. It is probably the biggest bug that has ever lived.
Anacondas can sometimes get to be 27' long nowadays but Titanoboa Cerrejonensis was 50' long! Can you even imagine such a big snake?
A giant land scorpion called P.Kirktonensis which was 2' long. , It mostly ate small insects but its sting was strong enough to kill small animals.
Ants the size of hummingbirds used to roam America. Titanomyrma was about 2.5 inches long and would spit acid to kill food and protect itself..
With a body length ofjust over a foot long, Megarachne was a VERY large spider with large fangs. Its body alone, minus the legs, was the size of Henry!
Right now the biggest snail in the world is an African land snail which can be as big as 7 inches. But 50 million years ago, it had a much bigger relative, the giant land snail. These ancient monsters lived off the shores of France and grew over 2 feet in length!
But something happened - a meteor probably - which wiped out almost everything we've just shown you - it is known as 'the great dying' which killed 96% of animals. It took 10 million years to heal and get over the 'great dying' but eventually the world started to recover and dinosaurs started to appear.. The seas were very empty and a strange deep purple color because of all the purple and green bacteria. Let's take a look - only a few bony fish survived and one was a small shark called a cladodontomorph - it had a spiky head !
Let's take a look at each country as it is now. Remember it was all one big land mass originally but let's break it up into the countries we know now and look at the dinosaurs that lived there. There were over 700 dinosaurs so we can't see all of them but let's take our imagination machine to the United States first... ...let's go to Colorado 150 million years ago.
The stegosaurus only ate plants and had huge plates along its spine and a spiky tail to protect it from being eaten by other bigger dinosaurs.
The apatosaurus was a huge dinosaur with a really long neck and a tail like a whip even when they were just 10yrs old they were a fully sized adult.
Their long necks meant they would eat lots of leaves and branches from the tops of trees. They often ate their food whole without chewing and would eat rocks to help their digestion!
Because they were sooooo big they hardly ever got attacked by other dinosaurs so would sometimes live to 100 yrs old!
Now let's go to Utah 115million years ago Deinonychus was a nasty dinosaur which used to have 70 super sharp curved teeth and huge carved claw. They were almost covered totally in feathers so it looked like a massive version of Big Bird from Sesame Street! It couldn't fly so they probably just kept it warm. They would work in packs and would eat dinosaurs like Tenontosaurus.
I bet you have heard of this one - Triceratops 68 million years ago it lived in the marshes and forests of North America where Montana and Wyoming are now.
It may have been a plant eater, but with its three fearsome horns, armoured frill and powerful body, it was no pushover. It couldn't be. The other dinosaur you know really well that used to fight with it was the Tyrannosaurus Rex ! It was roughly the size of an elephant. It walked on four, thick legs, and had a short but powerful tail and a face with three horns. A huge frill grew out from the back of its skull, covering its neck and people think it may have used its frill to communicate. It had a beak-shaped mouth for ripping off plants using 800 teeth!! It's skull was so big it was a third of its whole body size. Triceratops weighed almost as much as a Tyrannosaurus Rex and wouldn't have been an easy meal for the meat-eater.
Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the largest predators to ever live. It stood on two powerful hind legs, and had a muscular body and tail. It's arms were tiny but it had a huge head.. T Rex had two clawed fingers and a tiny, claw-less third finger on each hand. Each foot had three main claws, with a fourth, smaller, claw located further up the leg. Its strong jaws were filled with almost 60 long, sharp teeth. It had amazing eyesight and one of the best senses of smell in the dinosaur world. T Rex weighed more than five cars and if it was around today it would be able to peer into the upstairs windows of your house without any problem!
Let's go to what is now called Canada ! Remember back then it was very different - about 75 million years ago a lot of it was under water surrounded by tropical forests where 2 dinos lived very happily together.
Corythosaurus had a hollow crest on its head and a narrow beak like a duck! So it also made a noise to communicate. This was was very noisy place
The Parasaurolophus has a colourful crest on its head. which was probably used to make low frequency trumpeting sounds. They would have used these sounds for longdistance communication between each other like elephants and whales communicate today.
Alberta in Canada is known Canada's dinosaur capital! One funny looking Dino here is the Ankylosaurus covered in bony plates that were like an armour. These plates made it almost impossible for predators to bite through. Plus it's tail had a massive club at the end which it may have used as a weapon. Ankylosaurus was fairly slow moving and while it was having a munch on plants other dinos could easily sneak up on it. If any Dino tried to eat it they'd probably break their teeth on the spiky skin. As a result it would live to about 80yrs!
One of the biggest dinosaurs ever also existed in Canada. The Edmontosaurus who looked fierce but was also a herbivore. He had a horny beak and wait for it. Over a 1000 teeth!
Also about 85million years ago in Alberta, Canada were two insect loving dinos. Stegoceras was a small, plant-eating dinosaur that had a large, thick-skulled head. This dinosaur may have butted heads with others.
Stegoceras would have been a very social animal, living in groups together and fighting amongst one another for mates and food.
Dromiceiomimus was also super fast capable of hitting speeds of 50 miles per hour although usually only when running away from being eaten. It had large eyes and a big brain but a very weak, toothless jaws. So it was a funny creature!
Let's go to Africa next. Did you know that 100 million years ago the dinosaurs that lived in this part of the world were the most fierce of all. The biggest meat-eating dinosaur that ever lived was the Spinosaurus and was even more vicious and bigger than T.Rex.
The Carcharodontosaurus was a scary dino - as long as four cars, as heavy as two elephants, teeth as long as a butcher's knife and a head the size of a human! It didn't have very good sight but had an amazing sense of smell which helped it because it didn't just hunt for food but was also a scavenger and would eat already dead or rotting animals
New fossils are being found all the time and just three years ago the biggest herbivore dinosaur that roamed the planet 200 million years ago was discovered
Discovered in South Africa, this dino is called Ledumahadi Mafube
Also around at the same time was a very odd looking dino called a Heterodontosaurus tucki,
It was unusual because it had three different types of teeth including tusks which would help it dig for food like termites. It was covered in bristle like feather which makes it look quite scary !
Now let's head to Europe
And guess what, 150 million years ago there was a dino called a Europasaurus
It lived in what's now Germany and was like a tiny version of a Diplodocus and suffered form something called dwarfism which means it didn't fully grow. It was a herbivore and lived a quiet life on an island in a shallow sea, with little food and few enemies In the sky were scary dinosaur birds called Archaeopteryx No larger than a chicken but as ferocious as a T-rex with nasty sharp claws. It was a carnivore and most likely ate smaller reptiles, mammals, insects and fish But something that ate both of these was the Machimosaurus - one of the most terrifying animals that existed in the world. A prehistoric crocodile the length of a bus with a huge head and small rounded teeth. Any dinosaurs or turtles on the sea side would easily be lunch.
In Asia there are lots of fab dinosaurs you've probably never heard of!! How about Mamenchisaurus - he had the longest neck of any dinosaur. In fact of any animal that's ever lived. It was half the length of its entire body! And so if you out it's neck and body together it was longer than two school buses. It lived in what is now China 160 million years ago and was a herbivore happily living alongside another plant eater but much lower to the ground. The Chungkingosaurus This was a chunky looking animal and its most prominent feature was the plates and spikes arranged in pairs on its back and two or three spikes at the end of its tail to protect itself.
Now look at these. Strange looking and fab named dinosaurs that lived in Russia 80 million years ago Olorotitan was a duck billed dinosaur and had a large, fan-shaped crest on the back of its head which made it look very elegant and different to other dinos. It probably used it as a trumpet to communicate with others.
Another similar dino that lived at the time was the Kerberosaurus which had a wide beak and plentiful teeth for grinding food
Dinosaur fossils have been found in some really cold parts of the world which means some dinosaurs could withstand super cold temperatures. These cold-surviving dinosaurs are known as polar dinosaurs.
To survive in the snow, polar dinosaurs bodies had plenty of insulation from fur or feathers that would have helped keep them warm and protect them from freezing.
In addition to colder temperatures, polar dinosaurs are thought to have spent much of the year in complete winter darkness and so many of them could produce light through bioluminescence. This may have allowed them to see more clearly in dark times and give off heat as well!
If you look at the South Pole now there's not much living down there it's so cold. But 190 million years ago Antarctica had at least two dinosaurs we know of - one is the Cryolophosaurus
It had a very strange bony crest which was brightly coloured and it was used to show off and claim territory.
When scientists first found the skull they called it Elvisaurus because it reminded them of Elvis Presley hairstyle.
The Glacialisaurus was one of the earliest meat eating dinosaurs ever found.
Although the area was not as cold as Antarctica is today, dinosaurs would have had to endure a period of darkness during harsh winters.
Having a large body mass really helped with the cold but it didnt stand a chance against the ferocious meat eating Cryolophosaurus!!
Let's take a look at South America and what is now Brazil. 112million yrs ago lived the super strange looking pterdactyl called Tupandactylus. It was a fruit-eater, using its short, deep jaws to pluck and crush the fruits of plants Its amazing crest on its head would be 3 feet tall and was used to signal to others. It had a wingspan up to 20 feet across! They lived in large flocks of about 1,000 on steep, coastal cliffs and behaved very much like seabirds, nesting near seas off the coasts of Brazil making loud screeching noises to each other. They had to be very careful because sometimes running along the cliff side would be a dino called Irritator. A long snout nosed dinosaur with a spiky sail on its back - it would normally eat fish but if a Tupandactylus was about...why not.
Can you see in the background a HUGE dinosaur. It's called the Titanosaurus and is possibly the biggest longest dinosaur ever to exist.
So now let's look at one of the weirdest dinosaurs ever. It was only recently discovered in 2019
In Argentina about 140 million years ago, there was a dinosaur called a Bajadasaurus Pronuspinax . It had long, forward-pointing spikes running along its neck and back. These spikes might have been for protection.
Despite its scary appearance it was a herbivore
Where haven't we been yet? Australia! Just this year they discovered the bones of the biggest dinosaur that ever lived down under 92million years ago ! They've called it the Australotitan - it's two storeys high and as long as a basketball court It was a gentle giant and ate plants with a ridiculously long neck and tail. And in the air were huge huge flying reptiles - one called Ferrodraco Lentoni. It had a 13' wings ,a big beak and spike shaped teeth for eating fish.
So we've been around the world and seen all the amazing different types of dinosaurs - but what about...
The most beautiful dinosaur ever ? It lived in China 161 million years ago and had feathers like a hummingbird. The Caihong or 'rainbow dinosaur' looked like a bird but probably couldn't fly.
The Dino with the biggest claws ?
The biggest head ? The animal with the biggest head ever in the history of our planet is the Torosaurus and lived in North America. It had a skull 9' long !!
The Therizinosarus had a big belly and long arms with huge claws like swords. They could grow up to 4' long and despite looking scary it was a quiet peaceful herbivore using its long neck to eat leaves off trees in Mongolia
weird feathered dinosaurs...
Epidendrosaurus was only was 12 inches big and although it was feathered it couldn't fly. It had really long arms completely out of proportion to the rest of its body. The third finger was huge possibly used for probing for insect food inside trees.
The Linhenykus had freakishly short arms with tiny claws at the end of them,. It is the only known dinosaur with one finger!
The Gigantoraptor was nearly 16' tall and 26' long, it was possibly the largest feathered dinosaur/ bird in history, and may have weighed up to 4500 lbs. It had no teeth and strange claws at the end of its wings.
The Longisquama had six to eight appendages fanned along its back which are believed to have been primitive feathers. Possibly this was the very first type of bird.
weird and wonderful dinosaurs... Jeholopterus is known as the vampire dinosaur. It fed off the blood of other dinosaurs. and was small enough to go undetected on another dinosaur's underbelly.
Sharovipteryx was a lizard-like flying reptile that fed on insects. It grew wings on its hind legs, rather than its arms. How it walked remains a mystery!.
Meet Dracorex - this dino has an extraordinary head shape and spikes. It's the closest looking dinosaur to a mythical dragon.
Its name means "dragon king of Hogwarts" after the Harry Potter series of books.
Kentrosaurus was like a super nasty Stegosaurus. It takes armored spines to a whole new level Not only did it have normal plates on its shoulders, but they turned into deadly spikes as they travel down the dinos back. Two of those spines jut directly out of the front legs and the ones on its tail would be lethal when it swung its tail about - the nasty spikes even have a name thagomizers.
The Pegomastax was one of the weirdest dinosaurs known. It was a cross between a parrot and porcupine, it had a beak with teeth that sharpened themselves against each other - nasty nasty nasty!
Micropachycephalosaurus A tiny dinosaur but we had to tell you about it because despite it being small it has the longest name!
Liopleurodon measured 50 feet long and was the biggest aquatic reptile ever - half the size of a blue whale
But wait. If this was millions of years ago and there were no people around how do we even know all of this. How do we know dinosaurs existed? So have you heard of fossils?
They are the preserved remains and bones of creatures that have been found by some very clever people called archaeologists. Archaeologists dig up the earth and find amazing things about our past.
There are two types of fossil - first let's look at trace fossils. Trace fossils are things creatures left behind - like eggshells, the implants of skin or pathways and footprints or even poop! They show us that an animal existed a long time ago From these fossils we can even see how big the animal was, what it ate and even how fast it ran. And remember these dinosaurs were HUGE so their footprints were big too! (and their poop!) There are many more trace fossils than body fossils because a dinosaur only has one body but he poops and walks around a lot!
Here's a pathway... in Japan there's a museum that shows the 8' ripple marks of a climacticnite - a two foot long slug like creature
Look at it - a truly gross green slug with spots
In the natural history museum there is a nest of a Protoceratops eggs found in Mongolia. They are 80 million years old.
Dinosaur nests have only ever been found on the ground so that means they nested like modern reptiles and birds like penguins
One of the biggest footprints ever found was in a place called Kimberly in Australia a few years ago. The fossil found was 5' 7" That's about the same size as you AND Henry laying down ! It was from a sauropod 130 million years ago!
In this area there are thousands of tracks in sandstone rock which can only be seen when the tide is out. The prints come from about 21 different types of dinosaur!
A dino's fossilized poop can reveal a lot about what it ate including whether they were an herbivore (they only eat plants) or a carnivore (they also ate meat) . For example, Tyrannosaurus rex fossilised poop shows that they did not pick at their food, but devoured everything, bones and all!
Fossilised poops are actually called copralites and in Florida there is a poozeum with 1277 poops on display !
Some of the poops are really REALLY big. In 2014 a collector paid $10,000 for a 40" poop! That's as tall as a 5 year old!!!
The other main type of fossil is called a body fossil - and thats what you have probably seen! Any remains of animals , insects or plants older than 10,000 years are called body fossils. Some can be millions of years old. Of course not every living animal or plant turns into a fossil when it dies. It's very rare. Have a think for a second - if you see a dead animal on the side of the road what happens to it? It's usually eaten by another animal or bird. And then what's left is eaten up by bugs and worms. Eventually it rots away and there is nothing left. The same happened with dinosaurs.
Let's try and imagine an example of a big scary dino dying and falling into a lake or river.
If that happens or it falls into mud or gets covered by sand it gets buried so quickly no scavengers can find it. Also oxygen, which is a main reason things rot away, cannot get to it. What happens is the fur, skin and flesh rots away. The harder things like bones and teeth last longer. Over many years water starts to seep into the bones.
The animal's bones eventually also start to decay but the minerals in the water start to fill in the empty areas until eventually minerals replace the entire bone or tooth. When the fossil is discovered years later, the original bones have turned into mineralized rock. And that's how we get fossils. So they're not actually bones but rock!
After many many years the dirt that once covered the animal sometimes erodes away because of wind or movement in the ground leaving small bits exposed. Can you see the skull poking out ? This is when scientists discover the fossils and start uncovering it.
Once a fossil is discovered, there are many things that must be done in order to make sure that it is dug up properly. In fact, archaeologists and paleontologists are specially trained to know exactly how to remove fossils from the ground - this has to be done very slowly and carefully. When fossils are found, the location is marked on a map and lots of pictures are taken of the area. Large trucks and bulldozers arrive to remove masses of soil. Sometimes, the fossils are embedded in rock which is much harder to work on. Special picks, hammers, and chisels are used to chip away at the rock around the fossils, being very careful.
It can actually take years to dig up a fossil and if they are very fragile a special glue is used to keep them from collapsing. If the fossils are very large then sometimes plastercast is put around them in order to protect them when they are moved. Finally large cranes arrive to lift them out of the dig site. It's quite a scary moment - imagine if they dropped it!.
Once the fossil is removed, scientists work on the pieces and make lots of notes and take photographs that show which bones are connected. Sometimes, the bones are shipped to a busy museum where they may not be put together for several years so these notes are really important to help put it back together!
Sometimes more than one museum would like to display the fossil so artificial molds of the bones are made of plaster! Many of the dinosaur skeletons we see in museums today are not the actual fossils. The next time you walk through a museum, remember all the steps that were taken to get those fossils there. Have you been to a museum to see one? You should ask an adult to take you !
Do you love dinosaurs even MORE now you know so much ? You're pretty much an expert! And guess what - we have made some t-shirts with our fave dinos on so just ask an adult and maybe they can buy you one from a store that has Me & Henry clothes in!
That's the end of our adventure - we hope you loved it as much as we did...
What was your fave dino? Or maybe your fave creature wasn't a dinosaur but a bug! Why don't you go back over the book and write your top 3 right here :
and tell also tell an adult to take a photo of you in your dino tee holding this book and post it on Instagram so we can see it and share it with others. See you next time!
follow the real Henry on his adventures in london @realhenrydog @meandhenrykids @meandhenry ...and buy the new collection of clothes available at a store near you and www.meandhenry.com written by Mark Jeynes
illustrated by Carolina Torres Carmo