CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artwork of a dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus, silhouetted against the Moon. Dinosaurs were reptiles that dominated life on land for 140 million years throughout the Mesozoic era: from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous period 64 million years ago. Over 800 species are known which are divided into two groups: the reptile-hipped and the bird-hipped dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus species belongs to the first group and includes the largest carnivorous, two-legged dinosaurs which reached 12m in length. Dinosaurs became suddenly extinct probably due to strong climatic changes and the competition from mammals in the changing environment.
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