There are tons of dinosaur species; many that you’ve probably never even heard of. Just take a look at some of them here. You can even use the same site to find out if dinosaurs roamed in your area at any point in history!
We often take for granted how much we know about dinosaur anatomy today, but it took scientists many years to put the pieces together.
Dinosaurs were first classified as their own group in 1842, and one of the first sculpture depictions can still be seen in Crystal Palace Park in London (pictured). You’ll notice that they look very different from what we know today.
Today scientists can sometimes even tell the colors of feathers in certain dinosaur species.
One afternoon in March 2011, a Canadian heavy-equipment operator named Shawn Funk (pictured left) was digging into the earth at a mine just north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
He soon noticed that what he was digging into looked and felt different than the rock all around him. He called his supervisor, Mike Gratton, to come inspect the substance he had found, but he too was puzzled by it.
These odd-looking rocks were walnut colored and displayed a strange pattern. “Right away, Mike was like, ‘We gotta get this checked out.’ It was definitely nothing we had ever seen before,” said Funk in a 2011 interview.
These strange rocks turned out to be an extremely well-preserved dinosaur called the nodosaur that was around 18 feet long and weighed approximately 3,000 pounds. This particular fossil is one the best-preserved skeletons of a dinosaur ever found!
10. Disaster Strikes
As the team of excavators and paleontologists were lifting the 15,000-pound isolated section of rock with the fossilized skeleton inside, the block fell and split in half! Luckily, however, everything broke cleanly and in big pieces, so all hope was not lost.
This particular find was so exciting for scientists because it’s so rare to find anything more than preserved bones and teeth, and often times much of the soft tissue will rot away over time. Fossils have also been known to warp over time: For example, skeletons of feathered dinosaurs found in China were squished flat.
It’s been six years since the nodosaur’s excavation from the mining site in Alberta and it's taken approximately 7,000 hours of reconstruction, but finally the nodosaur is on display to the public at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology’s dinosaur exhibit in Alberta.