Which dinosaur species were the biggest, smallest, cleverest and dumbest? What did dinosaurs’ babies look like? Could dinosaurs run, fly or swim? And did they even exist in the first place? These are just some of the questions that run in peoples’ minds when they think about dinosaurs.
In this article, we’ll address all these questions; you’ll also learn about the different types of dinosaurs and where they lived. But before we get started, let’s make sure we are on the same page. So, what are dinosaurs?
They are prehistoric reptiles that existed about 228 million years ago. When many people hear the word dinosaur, the first image that comes to mind is a big, ferocious and extinct reptile, which is, to some extent, true. But note, we said, “to some extent.” Dinosaurs came in varying shapes and sizes. Yes, they were the largest terrestrial animals of their time, but a great number of them were smaller than a chicken. In fact, the modern-day birds are some kind of dinosaurs because they share the same ancestor with non-avian dinosaurs which lived on the land
Dinosaurs reigned for about 175 million years until they were all wiped out due to a range of reasons about 65.5 million years ago. Although scientists don’t agree on the exact cause of their extinction, many say it could be as a result of climate change, chocking chemicals from volcanic eruptions, asteroid impact and possibly other reasons. These reptiles lived only during the Mesozoic era (commonly known as the age of reptiles) which lasted from 228 to 64 million years ago. No one has ever seen a dinosaur – the earliest of human’s ancestors did not appear on earth until 4 million years ago.
Types of dinosaurs
There are currently more than 330 described dinosaur today. Scientists have grouped them into several categories, including:
Theropods: the two-legged dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus
Sauropods: the giant plant-eating dinosaurs like Diplodocus and Apatosaurus
Ornithopods: smaller plant-eating dinosaurs that walked on two-legs like Hadrosauridae, Parasaurolophus, and iguanodon
Ceratopsians: the plant-eating dinosaur with horns like triceratops and styracosaurus
Stegosaurus: the dinosaurs armed with plates. They were plant eaters that walked on four legs
Ankylosaurus: this group includes other armed dinosaurs like Nodosaurus and Euoplocephalus. Like the stegosaurus, they were plant eaters and four-legged
Pachycephalosaurus (thick-headed): Describes a group of dinosaurs with very thick skulls named after the best-known Pachycephalosaurus.
Although the dinosaurs all lived through the Mesozoic era, different zords lived at different times. Sauropods first appeared around 228 to 130 million years ago, but lived to about 64 million years ago, though by this time, they weren’t as many. Ornithopods only appeared between 130 and 95 million years ago, but their population increased about 60 million years later. The Ceratopsians, on the other hand, didn’t come about until 95 to 64 million years ago.
Where did dinosaurs come from?
Fossil evidence reveals that a group of reptiles living in Argentina about 230 million years ago developed a new way of walking. Rather than sprawling like crocodiles, they started walking with their legs more directly under their bodies like the dinosaurs. One reptile known as lagosuchus may have been the ancestor of all the dinosaurs. There are two essential features of the dinosaurs. First, they all lived on the land and second, they all walked on straight legs. All other reptiles had a different way of moving. What’s believed to be the world’s oldest dinosaur was found in Argentina in 1991 named Eoraptor (dawn stealer). It lived 228 million years ago. It was one meter long, perhaps the size of a large dog. Other early dinosaurs have been found in South America, and even older ones may still be discovered.
Where did dinosaurs live?
The dinosaurs’ fossils have been found on all continents, including Antarctica. But since their first appearance on earth, the earth’s position has changed considerably. The continents have been drifting apart due to different forces. Europe and North America are drifting away from each other about as fast as a fingernail grows. Today, brachiosaurus can be found on two continents: Africa and N. America. When these dinosaurs were alive, it was still one continent. But the dinosaurs didn’t live everywhere. Some groups were more common in certain parts than others. For instance, the platysaurus and its closest relatives were found in the USA, South America, Germany, and South Africa.
Did dinosaurs fly?
According to fossil evidence, some advanced dinosaur had feathers or a body with feather-like covering. However, a majority of them could not fly or swim. Archaeopteryx could launch itself from the ground, but could not fly far. Some research shows that the feathers only helped keep the dinosaurs warm.
The brave and the dumbest
Well, dinosaurs were some of the dumbest creatures to ever live on the planet. However, not all of them were equally stupid. In fact, some like the Troodon, Deinonychus, Compsognathus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Oviraptor, and Maiasaura may even have reached a mammalian intelligence level. But on the other end of the spectrum is the Stegosaurus, which had a brain about the size of a walnut.
- Dinosaurs lived on earth 64 times longer than humans have been around
- A bite from T-rex was more than two times as powerful as that of a lion
- Dino’s skulls had large holes to make the head lighter. Some of the biggest skulls were as long as a car
- The largest plant-eaters ate as much as a ton of food daily. This can be equated to eating a bus-sized pile of vegetation a day.
- Although many people think dinos were massive, they were often the size of humans or smaller. Researchers believe that the larger bones were easier to be fossilized
- Plant-eating dinos had blunt toenails/hooves, while meat-eating dinos have sharp, hooked claws.
- The name dinosaur was coined from a Greek word that means “terrible lizard.”
An Apple Tree: Caring For An Apple Tree And Benefits Of Eating Apples
An apple tree is among the most popular trees in the world because of its nutritious fruit. Spring flowers, delicious fruits, and summer shade are only a few of the wonderful advantages of planting an apple tree.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Usually consumed raw, people also use apples in several recipes, drinks, and juices. They are available in various sizes and colors.
Some basic facts about an apple tree:
- Etymology- The word ‘apple’ has a Proto-Germanic origin.
- Production- China is the largest producer of apple in the world. Other suppliers of delicious apples include Poland, the United States, Iran, Italy, Turkey, and India.
How to care for an apple tree?
Through proper control of diseases and insects, pruning, and fertilizing, you can enjoy the fruit and beauty of an apple tree for years. If you have an apple tree or plan to plant one, here are some facts that you need to know:
- Location and time- Early spring or late fall is an ideal season for planting apple trees. The preferred location is one with wind block to keep the apples from falling off before they are ripe.
- Size- These trees can be as tall as 40 feet, but the dwarf varieties are easy to maintain.
- Pruning- Pruning increases fruit production and should be done in winter.
- Symptoms of pest infection and diseases- Look for symptoms like stunted growth, yellowing of foliage, white layer on leaves, spots on fruits and leaves, and branch dieback.
- Fruits- Fruits usually appear after three or four years.
Nutritional value of apples:
- Carbs- Apples are primarily composed of water and carbs. So, they are replete with simple sugars like sucrose, glucose, and fructose.
- Vitamins and minerals- Apple contains multiple minerals and vitamins, Vitamin C being present in high amounts. Potassium, the main mineral present in apples is good for the heart.
- Fiber- Apples are also high in fiber, thus boosting digestion.
- Other plant compounds- Apples are also a source of several antioxidant compounds such as quercetin (anti-depressant), chlorogenic acid (improves muscle and brain function), and catechin (aids weight loss and lowers blood pressure).
Check out more information: Scientists Discover that Cutting Trees Can Save the Earth’s Forest From Excessive Drought and Heat.
Health benefits of eating apples:
- Fights against diabetes- People who eat apples regularly have fewer chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The reason behind this is that it has an ample amount of soluble fiber.
- Fights Cancer– Many studies on animals and test-tube babies have revealed that apples reduce the chances of having cancer in the colon and the lungs. Other studies have proved that people who eat apples regularly are at a lower risk of getting breast and colorectal cancer.
- Makes the heart-healthy- Apple is also a heart-friendly fruit, one that lessens the chances of being affected with cardiovascular diseases.
- Helps reduce irritable bowel syndrome- Irritable bowel syndrome can be characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, and bloating. Doctors recommend a minimum intake of fatty foods and dairy products in such cases. So, apple is a good replacement for people with IBS.
- Controls weight- The best way of managing weight is by exercising and eating healthy foods. Apple and other fruits give the body the required nutrients and also help the person maintain healthy body weight.
- Prevents hemorrhoids- Swollen veins in a person’s anal canal are called hemorrhoids. Fiber can control constipation and alleviate hemorrhoids.
- Detoxifies liver- One of the easiest and best things that help you detoxify the liver is apples.
- Strengthens immune system- Quercetin, an antioxidant present in red apples boosts the immune system.
Best time to eat apples:
As apples are rich in pectin, you should eat them in the morning. Since most people these days suffer from digestive problems due to insufficient sleep and unhealthy eating habits, eating an apple in the morning is a good idea. However, do not eat it or any other fruit in an empty stomach as it might aggravate acid reflux, causing distress.
If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet is a must. Apples are an excellent choice in this respect. So, keep having this healthy and tasty fruit. Planting an apple tree in your backyard is also a great idea.
The Calcutta Botanical Gardens, A Paradise For Nature Lovers
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, also known as the Calcutta Botanical Garden, is located in West Bengal. Its earlier names were the Royal Botanic Garden and the Indian Botanic Garden. It is under the BSI (Botanical Survey of India) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
This sprawling garden one of the must-visit places in West Bengal for nature lovers. There is a wide range of plants that inhabit different types of birds. So, if you have a passion for photography, you’ll fall in love with this place.
History of the Calcutta Botanical Garden:
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden was founded by Colonel Alexander Kyd in 1786. He was an army officer working under the British East India Company. He created this garden to identify and grow different plants special of commercial value. Sir George King designed the interiors of the garden. William Roxburgh filled the area with plants brought from all parts of India and developed extensive barium over the years.
So, prior to India’s independence, the British people referred to the garden as the East India Company’s Garden. Recently, in 2009, it got its name as the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in honor of the great scientist.
The Great Banyan Tree: a rare beauty
One of the most famous landmarks of the Botanical Garden that attracts tourists from all corners of the world is the Great Banyan Tree. Reckoned to be the world’s largest tree, it has a circumference of 330 meters approximately. It spreads gloriously over four acres of land, making it as large as a small forest. Though there is no official age record of the Great Banyan, its estimated age is at least 250 years. References to this gigantic tree have been found in travelogues dating back to the early 19th century, thus validating our statement.
After being hit by two great devastating cyclones in the years 1864 and 1867, the main trunk of the Great Banyan got fungus-infected and had to be cut out in 1952. But, because of its thousands of aerial roots, the tree did not cease to thrive and expand. The aerial roots originating from the branches and reaching the ground makes it look like a beautiful canopy of banyan trees. Such is the beauty of this tree that it inspired Brain Aldiss to write a novel, Hothouse, based on it.
Major attractions of the Calcutta Botanic Garden:
The Calcutta Botanical Garden is the abode of 12,000 perennial plants and thousands of dried out plant species collected from all over the world. Other than the enormous Banyan tree, the garden is adorned with several other beautiful plants brought from Java, Sicily, Brazil, Malaysia, Sumatra, Nepal and other places:
- There are mango trees, Cuban Palms, banyan trees, tamarind trees, Bougainvillea, Citrus, Jasmine, Ferns, Hibiscus, the mad tree, mahogany trees, orchids, muli-haired bamboos, creepers, and multiple kinds of cacti. There are also unique floricultural, arboriculture, and aquatic plants.
- Some exotic species of plants that you can spot here are Bread Fruit Tree, Giant Water Lilies, the Shivalinga Tree, Double coconut, and Krishnabot.
- Another interesting fact is that the famous tea cultivated extensively in Darjeeling and Assam was initially developed in the Botanical Gardens.
- There is a serpentine lake for tourists to enjoy boating.
- The ancient library of the Botanical Garden has an impressive collection.
Animals that you can spot inside the Calcutta Botanic Garden:
You can also spot different types of animals inside the Calcutta Botanical Garden premises. Some of them include the Indian Fox, jackals, and the Indian mongoose. A great variety of snakes also inhabit the gardens.
Which is the ideal time to visit the Calcutta Botanic Garden?
As the weather of Kolkata is extremely humid in summer and monsoon, winter is the best time to explore the city. So, plan your visit to the Botanical Garden between November and March.
If you are in the city, you must pay a visit to this eco-friendly venue. The entry fee is only Rs 10 for Indian citizens and it remains open from 10 am to 7 pm. Daily walkers of the locality go for a yearly membership available at Rs 200 only. A one-day-trip with friends or family would be enough to explore the gardens.
Tree Planting An Exceptional Way To Mitigate The Consequences Of Climate Change
Global warming is the rapid rise in the Earth’s average temperature. It is one of the major reasons behind drastic changes in the climate of several places. Trees are the greatest resource or natural technology that we can use against climate changes due to global warming. One of the easiest as well as cheapest methods of reducing the severe outcomes of climate change is tree planting measures. Planting billions of trees worldwide will effectively remove excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. So, environmentalists have suggested restoring the forest cover of the planet. Let us take you on a journey to the beautiful world of trees for better understanding of their capabilities.
Carbon absorption potential of trees:
- Trees absorb the carbon that is one of the primary greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Plants take help of sunlight energy for performing photosynthesis. During this process they use water and carbon dioxide for creating glucose. In the end, they feed on the carbon and thus maintain a balance in the carbon content of the air.
- Trees do not just capture carbon dioxide but also assist the soil in capturing and storing carbon. However, it is the oceans that absorb majority of all carbon emissions and suffer the devastating consequences of ocean acid unification.
How many trees do we need to plant to make a significant change?
The ‘Global Tree Restoration Potential’ study conducted by several scientists can help us answer this question. They measured the tree cover of the earth with the help of 80,000 satellite images and also mixed those results with climate variables such as topography and soil. The outcome was a global map indicating where more tree planting should take place for best results.
The good side of the story is that almost two-thirds of the planet’s land area have the potential of growing trees and supporting a forestall area. So, planting of billions of trees in the near future can solve our problem of global heating. Agro-forestry is an excellent forest management strategy in this respect.
How fast is the climate changing? When do we act?
Climate change is taking place faster than we can imagine. Therefore, we must act now to control the situation. As per recent studies, 0.9 billion ha of forest cover can easily store 205 giga tonnes of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. So, all nations should join hands and embark on a mission of planting trees in all possible places.
Trees that have higher potential to intake carbon dioxide than others:
The amount of carbon any tree can hold is known as carbon sequestration. They sequester the carbon by storing it in leaves, roots, branches and trunks. So, the trees that can store most carbon dioxide are the ones with dense wood and large trunks. The good thing is that many trees are there that fit this criterion:
- Pines- Pines do an excellent job in sequestering carbon. The Ponderous, Hispaniola, white and red pines are not just great landscape plants but also beneficial in nature. As pines are extremely tall, their trunks store a lot of carbon dioxide.
- Oaks- Oaks have dense wood and large canopies, two characteristics required for carbon sequestering. Besides, they are tall and attractive, enhancing the beauty of our planet.
- Other coniferous and deciduous trees- Other than pine and oak, there is a wide range of conifers and deciduous trees that have fantastic carbon-absorption qualities. Some such deciduous trees are black walnut and horse- chestnut. Christmas tree is again another evergreen species of tree that has great carbon sequestering ability. So, we should focus on planting more of those trees.
Other ways of addressing global warming and climate change:
Other than tree planting initiatives, mitigation efforts to reduce global warming include development of advanced technologies to reduce the rates of carbon emission, preservation of existing forests, coastline protection, lessening the usage of fossil fuels and increasing usage of renewable energy sources like wind power, solar power, hydro-electric power and several others.
If all us unite and take the vow of making the world a better place to live, soon there will be greenery all around us. With the restoration of forest areas, alterations in global climate will not be the greatest threat anymore.
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