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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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DACENTRUS

(pronounced dah-sen-TROO-rus ) Dacentrus (meaning "very sharp point tail") was an early stegosaurid dinosaur, a well-protected plant-eater that was about 15 feet (4.4 m) long. It had two rows of asymmetrical plates on its back and two rows of long spikes (with sharp edges) running along its lower back and tail. The longest spike found is 1.5 feet (45 cm) long. Like other stegossaurids, it had a small head, a bulky body, a long tail, and short legs. This quadruped ornithischian lived in what is now Europe; incomplete fossils have been found in England, Portugal, and France (D. lennieri). An egg that may have belonged to Dacentrus was found in Alfeizerao, Portugal. Dacentrus lived during the late Jurassic period, 163-150 million years ago. Dacentrus was named by Lucas in 1902. The type species is D. armatus. Some Dacentrus specimens were originally known as Omosaurus.


DACHONGOSAURUS

(pronounced duh-CHONG-ah-SAWR-us ) Dachongosaurus was a large, primitive sauropodomorph dinosaur. It had a small head, a bulky body, and a long tail. It walked on two or four legs. Incomplete fossils (only vertebrae, limbs, and ribs) were found in China. Dachongosaurus lived during the Jurassic period, about 208-145 million years ago. Dachongosaurus was named by Chinese paleontologist Chao in 1985. The type species is D. yunnanensis. Dachongosaurus is a nomen nudium, a genus that has not yet been formally described.


DAMALASAURUS

(pronounced DAM-ah-lah-SAWR-us ) Damalasaurus was a large, primitive sauropod dinosaur. It had a small head, a bulky body, a long tail, and four short legs. Fossils were found in China. Damalasaurus lived during the middle Jurassic period, about 188-169 million years ago. Damalasaurus was named by Chinese paleontologist Zhao Xijin in 1983. The type species is D. magnus. Damalasaurus is a nomen nudium, a genus that has not yet been formally described.


DANDAKOSAURUS

(pronounced dan-DAK-oh-SAWR-us ) Dandakosaurus was a large theropod dinosaur. This bipedal meat-eater was about 10 feet (3 m) long. Fossils were found in Andrak Pradesh, India. Dandakosaurus lived during the early Jurassic period, about 213-188 million years ago. Dandakosaurus was named by paleontologist Yadagiri in 1982. The type species is D. indicus. Dandakosaurus is a nomen nudium, a genus that has not yet been formally described.
DARWIN CHARLES R.
Charles Robert Darwin (February 12, 1809-April 19, 1882) was an English naturalist who revolutionized scientific thought with the theory of evolution and natural selection. After studying at Cambridge University, Darwin served as naturalist on the ship HMS Beagle (captained by Robert Fitzroy) during its five-year voyage around the world traveling west ( December 27, 1831-October 2, 1836). On this trip, Darwin studied a tremendous variety of plant and animal life. Darwin's book called "On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life" was published in November 24, 1859 (and sold out in one day). This world-shaking book outlined the gradual change in a species from generation to generation through natural selection. Alfred Lord Wallace independently proposed the theory of evolution the same time as Darwin. In 1871, Darwin published "The Descent of Man," which focused on the origins of people. The theory of evolution has been debated since it was proposed, but most scientists accept evolution and natural selection as the method of species formation and the foundation of biology.

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DASPLETOSAURUS

(pronounced das-PLEET-oh-SAWR-us) Daspletosaurus (meaning "frightful lizard") was a tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that was 26-33 feet (8-10 m) long and weighed perhaps 2-3.5 tons (2300 kg). It had tiny horns behind its eyes and its arms were a bit longer than those of T. rex. It may have been an ancestor of T. rex. This bipedal meat-eater lived in marshes by streams in what is now Alberta, Canada, during the late Cretaceous period, 76-72 million years ago. It may have preyed upon Triceratops. It was named by D. A. Russell in 1970. The type species is D. torosus.


DATING FOSSILS

Dating a fossil is determining when that organism was alive. Paleontologists use many ways of dating individual fossils in geologic time, including stratigraphy, observations of the fluctuations of the Earth's magnetic field, radioisotope-dating, and looking at nearby index fossils.


DATOUSAURUS

(pronounced DAH-toe-SAWR-us) Datousaurus was a long-necked, long-tailed, quadrupedal, plant-eating dinosaur from the middle Jurassic period, about 170 million years ago. This solidly-built sauropod was over 50 ft (15 m) long. Its teeth were spoon shaped, and it had a very solid skull (unlike many sauropods). It had 5 toes on each of its four feet. Datousaurus may be a Cetiosaurid sauropod. Fossils have been found in China. The type species is D. bashanensis. Datousaurus was named by Dong and Tang in 1984.

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ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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