Everyone knows that dinosaurs lived a long time ago. But do you know about the other ancient animals that roamed the Earth then too?
The Mosasaurus was a reptile like a dinosaur that lived in the sea. It could grow up to 10 tons. Some say that it is bigger than the great white shark. The Mosasaurus could swim fast to catch its prey with its razor-sharp teeth. The Mosasaurus resembled a kind of crocodile, with part of its body resembling a shark.
The Placodus was also another reptile that lived in the sea at the same time as dinosaurs, about 230 million years ago. It was around 7 feet long and had really big teeth that were 4 inches across. These teeth helped the Placodus eat shellfish and sea urchins.
The Archaeopteryx, a bird well-known by scientists, lived in Europe 155 million years ago. The fossils of the Archaeopteryx looked like those of a dinosaur, but it wasn’t until scientists saw the shape of their feathers that they found out that the Archaeopteryx was a bird. It is also one of the only birds that has bones in its long tail.
Confuciusornis was about 2 feet long and lived in China about 120 million years ago. It had a backward pointing big toe on each foot so it could climb trees. It was also the first bird known to have a beak. It is named after the famous Chinese scholar, Confucius.
The Megazostrodon lived in Southern Africa about 215 million years ago. It was just 5 inches long and probably hunted animals at night. The Megazostrodon was the earliest mammal, so it had warm blood, and fur or hair. It looked a little like a modern-day shrew.
These animals are very different from one another, but they all lived a long time ago around the time of the dinosaurs.
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