dinosaur

Introduction

dinosaur dī´nəsôr [key] [Gr., = terrible lizard], extinct land reptile of the Mesozoic era . The dinosaurs, which were egg-laying animals, ranged in length from 2   1⁄2 ft (91 cm) to about 127 ft (39 m). Recognized discoveries of fossilized dinosaur bones date only to the 1820s; Sir Richard Owen, a Victorian anatomist, coined the term dinosaur.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.