images inspired by the movies "age of dinosaurs" convince us that the overwhelming amount of these lizards are carnivores.However, even a basic knowledge of biology, have questioned this view.In contemporary nature to feed relatively small number of carnivores herbivores number should be more than a few times - or predators simply die of hunger.One example is the region where the reduction of the population of herbivorous species began massive loss of predators.
unlikely that the situation was different in the days of giant lizards.And although the movie more spectacular looks, for example, the attack vicious predator, there is no doubt that the species of herbivorous dinosaurs were much more numerous and diverse than the "community" predators.
errors in the title
In general, the misconceptions associated with dinosaurs, abound.This is not surprising: they lived long before mankind, credible evidence of them - paleontological research, so in fact it is necessary also to correctly describe what he saw!Even in the scientific name of the most famous (mostly because of unimaginable proportions) of these dinosaurs - sauropods - have laid a mistake.With Latin name translates as "dinosaurs lizard legs."This leg of the animals closer to the elephant of course, so you should have been very difficult to carry the carcass - from 10 to 40 tons.However, the name stuck.
Even the name "herbivore" dinosaur deserves not every representative of the ancient fauna.Yet most of them differ by no means small in size, so that, rather, these giants were drevoyadnymi, in extreme cases - herbivorous.Grass rather, they could not even see from the height of its growth.
Variety of sizes
Since the dinosaurs "ruled the world" for tens of millions of years, "rock" has generated a lot of herbivorous dinosaurs.Some people know more, some - less.The size of these animals also vary greatly.Dinosaur dwarf named Gesperonikus Elizabeth was half a meter in length and weighing less than a cat - two kilos.In second place on minimalism - Compsognathus, three-quarters of a meter long and weighing three kilograms.It should be noted, however, that the two "dwarf" refers to predators, though fed on various small animals.
reasons gigantism and features of the external structure
But any average herbivorous dinosaurs differed just as giant proportions.This is not surprising: in those days it was the surest way to protect themselves from attack carnivore aggressor.Firstly, when such growth is not any predator doprygnet to vital organs.Secondly, tails proved reliable batons, well-aimed blow which felled safely aggressor.Third, at such a scale, there may be additional armor and weapons - horns, protective plates and so on. D. Fourth, all kinds of herbivorous dinosaurs were herd animals, which increases their chances of survival.However, gregarious and live today are not predators.
Besides herbivorous dinosaurs was the evolution of an additional bonus: basic actions brain had not located in the head and in the sacrum.A small amount of "gray matter" in the skull served mainly to control eyes.But sacral cord 20 times more and I was responsible for the rest.As a result of sauropods differed very little skull, which is confirmed by excavations and pictures illustrate the herbivorous dinosaurs.
abundance of species - the result of supply
Scientists have found that a great variety of species of herbivorous dinosaurs because they do not overlap, "feeding zone".Each of sauropods preferred their diet.Even if they grazed on the same type of vegetation, some prefer branches from treetops, while others (more modest size) devoured fern shoots or at the base.Moreover, some of the dinosaurs ate only one kind of tree, which eliminates competition.
most famous herbivorous dinosaurs, whose names are familiar even to children, lived mainly in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.Among them, Brachiosaurus, Iguanodon, Diplodocus and Stegosaurus.All of them - the giants, but in the first place paleontologists put Argentinosaurus.It was the largest herbivorous dinosaurs, whose weight sometimes exceeds 60 tons.Second place goes to the Brachiosaurus, weighing 50,000 kilograms.
distribution "predator - herbivorous dinosaur," correspond to the current ratio of carnivorous and herbivorous, confirmed by researches of Chicago researchers, who found that the majority were either tselurazavrov herbivorous or evolve them from predators.This shows a good ability to adapt, which was characterized by dinosaurs - was not enough animal food, they are "retrained" to a vegetarian.It is interesting that in the process of transformation, many of them lost teeth and other teeth and their face was transformed into a beak.
A new species of herbivorous dinosaurs
It would seem that the study of sauropod has been going on for more than two centuries, have had to be found all deposits of dinosaurs on Earth.However, paleontologists still surprising discoveries.
Pennsylvania scientists from 1998 to 2000 found previously described dinosaur, which was given the name Suuwassea emilieae.It is assumed that he was a "relative" Diplodocus.Researchers, however, are already highly interested in modifying sauropod feet, which are visible on the bones, as well as strange hole in the skull.Previously, these holes were found in all three species of dinosaurs.
So there is still a riddle posed extinct lizards and unsolved until scientists.