Meet some of our 150 Texas Dinosaurs
The dinosaurs represent a variety of well known and unusual species, which are displayed outdoors with explanatory signs.
Brachiosaurus seems to be the sauropod of choice among young people today, just as Brontosaurus once was.This huge plant-eater is one of the largest known land animals.A living Brachiosaurus would probably have weighed over seventy tons and would have needed over four hundred pounds of food a day. It lived in herds in the forests.Scientists no longer believe that it lived in water. The remains of Brachiosaurus have been found in Africa, Europe, and North America. Its popularity as a "long-neck" (the name comes from The Land Before Time) was only enhanced by its supporting role in Dinosaur.
This dinosaur had a small horn on its nose and two fairly long horns on its brow with an unusually long frill or shield that stretched over the neck and shoulders. The very large holes through the bone (hence the name) lightened the weight of the frill, which otherwise would have been so heavy Chasmosaurus could not have lifted its head.
Like the other horned dinosaurs, Chasmosaurus walked on four legs and ate plants with its horny beak. Many fossils of Chasmosaurus have been discovered together in Canada, leading scientists to assume that like many of the ceratopsians, such as Triceratops, it might have traveled in family groups, with the older members of the group protecting the younger ones, as they do in the display at Dinosaur World.
Dilophosaurus is best known for appearing in Jurassic Park with a large collar around its neck. That collar is based on a modern lizard, the frilled lizard, and not on any fossils of Dilophosaurus. Although the toothy coelurosaur with its strange headgear is impressive enough, it was felt that the collar would make the dinosaur look scarier
The most notable features of Spinosaurus, for which it is named, are the long spines on its back, which probably supported a fin somewhat like that of Dimetrodon. It is interesting that two animals otherwise so different (Dimetrodon was not even a dinosaur) would share such a distinctive feature, one for which we do not know the purpose. The fin might have regulated its body temperature or have been used in courtship displays.
Spinosaurus was a large carnosaur which, typical of the group, walked on its hind legs. Its front legs were larger and probably more useful than those of some of the other members of the group, and its head is particularly large.
Notice that the Spinosaurus at Dinosaur World is colored for camouflage, which would be helpful for a dinosaur that hunted its food. (Modern human beings wear camouflage when they hunt.) But, notice that Stegosaurus, a plant-eater and prey animal, is also colored for camouflage, as are modern prey animals. Of course, any colors for the dinosaurs are guesses.
Most dinosaur names come from Greek and Latin, as does the beginning of Stygimoloch's name, but the ending -moloch is from Hebrew. Some people (including those who named it) think that Stygimoloch is demonic-looking, although the name actually refers to the Hell Creek formations, where its fossils have been found.
As it is represented at Dinosaur World, however, it seems rather dapper, almost as if it is waiting for someone to use it as the inspiration for a new hairstyle.
This little pachycephalosaur is known only from part of the back of its skull, found in Montana. Paleontologists often have to be creative artists to determine the appearance of a dinosaur from such sketchy evidence.
It may sound strange to say a dinosaur is loveable, but there is something about Triceratops that especially appeals to children. Maybe it is the charming personality of Cera in Land Before Time (1988), or maybe it is the large but not threatening, somewhat appealing look of the dinosaur itself, but for many kids, the highlight of their visit to Dinosaur World is meeting the Three-horn family.
A huge animal, with several ways of protecting itself, including a tough, leathery skin (that scientists have found fossilized impressions of), it had no real enemies. Some scientists speculate that it might have been particularly aggressive. It is believed to be one of the last of the dinosaurs to go extinct.
If there is ever an election for most popular dinosaur at Dinosaur World, the competition will most likely be between Triceratops, a plant-eater perceived to be gentle (although some scientists disagree) and Tyrannosaurus rex, or T. rex, to friends, a carnosaur that was anything but gentle. Of the many movies in which T. rex (the all-time movie star among dinosaurs) has appeared, old T has been brought down only by Superman in The Arctic Giant (1942) and by a Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III (2001).
In 1997, the fossil of a T. rex named Sue (although no one knows whether the animal was male or female) sold at auction at Sothebys for over eight million dollars. T. rex is big business, with more different models, toys, and other representations of T. rex in the Dinosaur World gift shop than of any other dinosaur.