Many people learned incredible facts about dinosaurs in grade school, but there are plenty of revelations not taught in the classroom. Images of these giant creatures roaming the Earth are inspired by popular culture representations, where they're most often depicted as carnivorous hunters. Continued investigation and recent dinosaur discoveries have reshaped much of what researchers and the public thought about dinosaurs, especially when it comes to different species, how they lived, why they disappeared, and if some types ever actually existed.
The things you never knew about dinosaurs may actually surprise you even more than the strangest dinosaur facts you already know.
The lifespans of dinosaurs vary significantly. For example, some scientists believe Apatosaurus could live for 300 years. The typical lifespan for dinosaurs is thought to be much shorter, averaging 30 years for carnivores and 70 to 80 years for herbivores. Carnivores like T-Rex would have had to fight for its food and survival much more often than its plant-eating counterparts.
Based on the size of certain mature dinosaurs, some scientists believe the growth rate could have occurred over hundreds of years.
Stegosaurus lived about 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period. Meanwhile, fossil evidence indicates Tyrannosaurus Rex lived during the Cretaceous period, roughly 65 million years ago. This means Stegosaurus was gone for 80 million years before T-Rex reigned, a longer span than the gulf of time separating T-Rex and humans.
Argentinosaurus (found in Argentina in 1987) is the largest dinosaur ever discovered. Fossil evidence indicated it was more than 130 feet long and probably weighed between 70 and 80 tons. Even with that size, the Argentinosaurus still wasn't as large as the modern blue whale. Blue whales may reach 100 feet in length and can weigh more than 191 tons.
While Argentinosaurus might be longer, the overall weight of the blue whale has earned it the title "Biggest Animal of All Time."
Sauroposeidon, whose name means "earthquake god lizard," has been identified as the tallest dinosaur on record. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma discovered this sauropod in 1994. Fossils from Sauroposeidon, found in Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming, revealed its neck was one-third longer than the next largest brachiosaurid.
Scientists estimate Sauroposeidon weighed more than 60 tons, stood more than 60 feet tall, and was about 100 feet long.