There are many different
types of dinosaurs.
They were different sizes, lived at different
times and places, and ate
Although dinosaurs have been
for many millions of years, and we know them only through
scientists have nevertheless been able to discover much about various
dinosaur's diets and lifestyles:
that we have found are formed from the teeth, bones or other hard body
parts of animals (we only occasionally find
of soft body parts such as skin, feathers, or internal organs).
From such fossils,
scientists can figure out an awful lot about an animal. They can for example,
work out whether it was a fast-runner or slow-moving, whether its teeth
were designed from grinding up tough vegetation or for slicing for meat,
or whether it was capable of reaching the tops of tall trees or only
Of course, it is not always easy to interpret evidence from
teeth and bones,
and it may take many years for a scientific consensus to emerge.
That is why, for example, there is still debate among scientists about
was an active predator (hunting and killing prey animals itself), or
was a scavenger that fed upon the carcasses of animals killed by others.
Sometimes, when we are very lucky, we can learn about dinosaurs'
diets and lifestyles directly from
Scientists have sometimes found
dinosaur bones, complete with
We know for example that
was a fish-eater, and
probably engaged in cannibalism, because of the stomach contents
that have been found.
Scientists have found fossils of dinosaur dung ("coprolites"). By
examining these, they can often learn more about what dinosaurs ate.
bones can give us information directly. For example, the discovery of
which seems to have survived, and subsequently healed from,
attack, suggests that
must have been actively hunting the animal, rather than just scavenging.
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