Relationship between Reptiles and Dinosaurs
Were All Dinosaurs Reptiles?
Human beings evolved from apes, horses from a small dog-like creature known as Eohippus, and giraffes from small antelope-like creatures called Climacocerous.
How did Dinosaurs evolve?
According to some scientists, dinosaurs too, like all other living beings, evolve gradually from previously existing creatures.
Some believe that dinosaurs evolved from primitive reptiles known as the ‘King lizards’.
The Genus Lagosuchus of Archosaur is very closely related to the dinosaurs.
Lagosuchus or ‘rabbit crocodile’ was a fast-footed reptile that wandered in the prehistoric ages. It could be regarded as the forefather of the dinosaurs.
Nobody can really say why one species evolves into another. It could be due to lack of food in the water that made the aquatic reptiles venture on to land. Over a period of time, they developed long legs, erect posture and other traits to become the biggest carnivorous living beings on the earth.
Or maybe, it was just a matter of chance and survival of the strongest that compelled the early reptiles to turn into the most successful group of animals that ruled the primitive earth.
When were Dinosaur Fossils first discovered?
When the dinosaur fossils were first discovered in the 19th century, a paleontologist named Richard Owen coined the term ‘dinosaur’ for these gigantic creatures.
What does the word “Dinosaur” mean?
The name was derived from two Greek words – ‘deinos’, meaning ‘terrible’ and ‘sauros’ meaning ‘lizard’ or ‘reptile’ due to their striking similarity to reptiles.
The similarities between Dinosaurs and Reptiles
Dinosaurs and reptiles, both were vertebrate creatures having a spine with several appendages.
They both possessed dermal bone structures like the plates and scales on the skin, as well as the endoskeletal bone found inside the muscles.
There were a lot of things that were dissimilar between them.
The difference between Dinosaurs and Reptiles
The dinosaurs had five vertebrae in their hips, whereas most of the reptiles have only two.
Dinosaurs, like other mammals held their limbs directly under their body while reptiles like lizards have their limbs spread out sideways.
This is the reason that not every paleontologist is convinced that dinosaurs are related to reptiles.
So, how closely are dinosaurs related to reptiles? Are they the country cousins of reptiles or have no relation with them? Well, the truth shall always be covered with a shroud of mystery.
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