Temporal range: Late TriassicPresent, 233.23 – 0 Mya (Possible Middle Triassic record)
Dinosauria montage 2.jpg
A collection of fossil dinosaur skeletons. Clockwise from top left: Microraptor gui (a winged theropod), Apatosaurus louisae (a giant sauropod), Edmontosaurus regalis (a duck-billed ornithopod), Triceratops horridus (a horned ceratopsian), Stegosaurus stenops (a plated stegosaur), Pinacosaurus grangeri (an armored ankylosaur)
Scientific classification e
Owen, 1842
Major groups

Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles[note 1] of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic period, between 243 and 233.23 million years ago,[1][2] although the exact origin and timing of the evolution of dinosaurs is the subject of active research.[3] They became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 201 million years ago; their dominance continued through the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Reverse genetic engineering[4] and the fossil record both demonstrate that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs,[5] having evolved from earlier theropods during the late Jurassic Period.[6] As such, birds were the only dinosaur lineage to survive the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago.[7] Dinosaurs can therefore be divided into avian dinosaurs, or birds; and non-avian dinosaurs, which are all dinosaurs other than birds. This article deals primarily with non-avian dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs are a varied group of animals from taxonomic, morphological and ecological standpoints. Birds, at over 10,000 living species,[8] are the most diverse group of vertebrates besides perciform fish.[9] Using fossil evidence, paleontologists have identified over 500 distinct genera[10] and more than 1,000 different species of non-avian dinosaurs.[11] Dinosaurs are represented on every continent by both extant species (birds) and fossil remains.[12] Through the first half of the 20th century, before birds were recognized to be dinosaurs, most of the scientific community believed dinosaurs to have been sluggish and cold-blooded. Most research conducted since the 1970s, however, has indicated that all dinosaurs were active animals with elevated metabolisms and numerous adaptations for social interaction. Some were herbivorous, others carnivorous. Evidence suggests that egg-laying and nest-building are additional traits shared by all dinosaurs, avian and non-avian alike.

While dinosaurs were ancestrally bipedal, many extinct groups included quadrupedal species, and some were able to shift between these stances. Elaborate display structures such as horns or crests are common to all dinosaur groups, and some extinct groups developed skeletal modifications such as bony armor and spines. While the dinosaurs' modern-day surviving avian lineage (birds) are generally small due to the constraints of flight, many prehistoric dinosaurs (non-avian and avian) were large-bodied—the largest sauropod dinosaurs are estimated to have reached lengths of 39.7 meters (130 feet)[13] and heights of 18 meters (59 feet)[14] and were the largest land animals of all time. Still, the idea that non-avian dinosaurs were uniformly gigantic is a misconception based in part on preservation bias, as large, sturdy bones are more likely to last until they are fossilized. Many dinosaurs were quite small: Xixianykus, for example, was only about 50 cm (20 in) long.

Since the first dinosaur fossils were recognized in the early 19th century, mounted fossil dinosaur skeletons have been major attractions at museums around the world, and dinosaurs have become an enduring part of world culture. The large sizes of some dinosaur groups, as well as their seemingly monstrous and fantastic nature, have ensured dinosaurs' regular appearance in best-selling books and films, such as Jurassic Park. Persistent public enthusiasm for the animals has resulted in significant funding for dinosaur science, and new discoveries are regularly covered by the media.


The taxon 'Dinosauria' was formally named in 1841 by paleontologist Sir Richard Owen, who used it to refer to the "distinct tribe or sub-order of Saurian Reptiles" that were then being recognized in England and around the world.[15] The term is derived from Ancient Greek δεινός (deinos), meaning 'terrible, potent or fearfully great', and σαῦρος (sauros), meaning 'lizard or reptile'.[15][16] Though the taxonomic name has often been interpreted as a reference to dinosaurs' teeth, claws, and other fearsome characteristics, Owen intended it merely to evoke their size and majesty.[17]

Other prehistoric animals, including pterosaurs, mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and Dimetrodon, while often popularly conceived of as dinosaurs, are not taxonomically classified as dinosaurs.[18] Pterosaurs are distantly related to dinosaurs, being members of the clade Ornithodira. The other groups mentioned are, like dinosaurs and pterosaurs, members of Sauropsida (the reptile and bird clade), except Dimetrodon (which is a synapsid).

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Dinosourus
Alemannisch: Dinosaurier
العربية: ديناصور
aragonés: Dinosauria
অসমীয়া: ডাইন’চৰ
asturianu: Dinosauriu
Avañe'ẽ: Tejurusu
azərbaycanca: Dinozavrlar
تۆرکجه: دایناسور
বাংলা: ডাইনোসর
Bân-lâm-gú: Khióng-liông
Basa Banyumasan: Dinosaurus
башҡортса: Динозаврҙар
беларуская: Дыназаўры
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Дыназаўр
български: Динозаври
bosanski: Dinosauri
brezhoneg: Dinosaor
буряад: Үлэг гүрбэл
català: Dinosaures
Чӑвашла: Динозаврсем
Cebuano: Dinosawryo
čeština: Dinosauři
Cymraeg: Deinosor
dansk: Dinosaurus
Deutsch: Dinosaurier
Diné bizaad: Naayééʼ
Ελληνικά: Δεινόσαυροι
español: Dinosauria
Esperanto: Dinosaŭro
euskara: Dinosauro
فارسی: دایناسور
Fiji Hindi: Dinosaur
føroyskt: Dinosaurur
français: Dinosauria
Gaeilge: Dineasár
Gaelg: Jeeneysoar
Gàidhlig: Dìneasar
galego: Dinosauro
贛語: 恐龍
ગુજરાતી: ડાયનાસોર
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Khiúng-liùng
한국어: 공룡
Hawaiʻi: Nalala
հայերեն: Դինոզավրեր
हिन्दी: डायनासोर
hrvatski: Dinosauri
Ilokano: Dinosauro
Bahasa Indonesia: Dinosaurus
interlingua: Dinosauria
Iñupiak: Niġrułłuk
íslenska: Risaeðlur
italiano: Dinosauria
Kabɩyɛ: Tɩnozɔɔrɩ
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಡೈನೋಸಾರ್
ქართული: დინოზავრები
қазақша: Динозаврлар
Kiswahili: Dinosauri
Kreyòl ayisyen: Dinozò
kurdî: Dînezor
Кыргызча: Динозавр
кырык мары: Динозавр
Latina: Dinosauria
latviešu: Dinozauri
lietuvių: Dinozaurai
Limburgs: Dinosaurusse
Lingua Franca Nova: Dinosauro
मैथिली: डायनोसर
македонски: Диносаурус
മലയാളം: ദിനോസർ
Malti: Dinosawru
मराठी: डायनोसॉर
مصرى: ديناصور
Bahasa Melayu: Dinosaur
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Kṳ̄ng-lṳ̀ng
монгол: Үлэг гүрвэл
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဒိုင်နိုဆော
Nederlands: Dinosauriërs
नेपाल भाषा: डाइनोसौर्
日本語: 恐竜
Nordfriisk: Dinosaurier
norsk: Dinosaurer
norsk nynorsk: Dinosaurar
occitan: Dinosaure
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଡାଇନୋସର
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Dinozavrlar
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਡਾਈਨੋਸੌਰ
پنجابی: ڈائینوسار
Papiamentu: Dinosourio
پښتو: ډانگسر
Patois: Dainosaar
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ឌីណូស័រ
polski: Dinozaury
português: Dinossauros
română: Dinozaur
rumantsch: Dinosaurs
Runa Simi: Dinusawru
русиньскый: Дінозавры
русский: Динозавры
саха тыла: Динозавр
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱰᱟᱭᱱᱮᱥᱚᱨ
sardu: Dinosauru
Scots: Dinosaur
shqip: Dinosauri
sicilianu: Dinusàuru
Simple English: Dinosaur
slovenčina: Dinosaury
slovenščina: Dinozavri
کوردی: دایناسۆڕ
српски / srpski: Диносауруси
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Dinosauri
Basa Sunda: Dinosaurus
svenska: Dinosaurier
Tagalog: Dinosauro
தமிழ்: தொன்மா
татарча/tatarça: Динозаврлар
Türkçe: Dinozor
українська: Динозаври
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: دىنوزاۋر
Vahcuengh: Hoengjlungz
Tiếng Việt: Khủng long
Võro: Dinosaurus
文言: 恐龍
Winaray: Dinosauro
吴语: 恐龙
ייִדיש: דינאזאווער
粵語: 恐龍
Zazaki: Dinozor
žemaitėška: Dinuozaurā
中文: 恐龙