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Discovery Magazine 7/1/1990

The Major Types Of Dinosaurs

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

All dinosaurs have been arranged into groups which share similar features. These similarities may show that God used the same basic plan to create all the main dinosaur types.

Dinosaurs are first divided into two orders. The order Saurischia (“lizard-hipped”) had hip bones which look like those of modern reptiles. Dinosaurs in the order Ornithischia (“bird-hipped”) had hip bones which look more like those of modern birds.

The saurischians are further divided into two suborders. The sauropodomorphs (“lizard feet forms”) were bulky, plant-eating dinosaurs that walked on four legs, like Diplodocus. The theropods (“beast feet”) included large dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus, and small dinosaurs like Deinonychus. Both small and large theropods were meat eaters and walked on two legs.

The ornithischians are divided into four suborders. The ornithopods (“bird feet”) included Iguanadon, the ceratopsians (“horned faces”) included Triceratops, the ankylosaurs (“fused lizards”) included Ankylosaurus, and the stegosaurs (“roofed lizards”) included Stegosaurus. All the ornithicians were plant-eaters, and had a bony beak at the tip of the jaw for plucking pieces of vegetation.

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