Glossary of Terms



Amphibian'Double Life'. A creature that can live in both water and on land
Ankylosaur'Stiff Reptile'. A group of four-legged armoured dinosaurs
Archosaur'Ruling Reptile'. The group of animals that included dinosaurs, crocodiles, birds, and pterosaurs
ArticulatedBones that are still joined together as they would have been in life
AstragalusAn bone found in the ankle
Ausktribosphenid'Southern Cretaceous Tribosphenic Mammal'. The family of mammals that includes Ausktribosphenos and Bishops
BipedA creature that walks on two legs
BolideA meteor, asteroid or comet that collides explosively with the earth
CarnivoreA creature that eats meat
CaudalOf the tail
Ceratopian'Horned Face'. The horned dinosaurs, including Psittacosaurus, Protoceratops, Triceratops, etc
CervicalOf the neck
CoracoidThe 'collar' bone
CretaceousThe last of the Mezosoic Ages. From 144 to 65 million years ago
Denticles'Tooth-like'. Serrations found on some dinosaur teeth. Also describes the tiny tooth-like structures in shark skin
Dermal OssicleSmall pieces of bone that occur in the skin. Present in many types of dinosaurs, and crocodiles
Dromaeosaur'Running Reptile'. The family that includes the velociraptors
FaunaAnimals
FemoraThe Plural of Femur
FemurThigh bone
FurculaThe fused 'collar' bones of birds and some Theropods
FibulaOne of the lower leg bones. See also Tibia
FloraPlants
GeneraPlural of Genus
GenusThe first of the two names that define a species (Eg. Tyrannosaurus rex, of the genus Tyrannosaurus)
Gondwana'Land of the Gonds'. One of the ancient supercontinents before it broke up into Australia, Africa, South America and India
HerbivorePlant eater
HolotypeSee also Type Specimen. A fossil on which a new species is based.
HumerusUpper arm bone
Hypsilophodontid'High Crested Tooth'. A family of small herbivorous dinosaurs, including Hypsilophodon and Leaellynasaura
IchnogenusA Genus based on footprint types. A separate classification technique to that based on skeletal remains
Ichthyosaur'Fish Reptile'. A type of marine reptile that resembles a dolphin or a shark.
IlliumPart of the Pelvis
IschiumPart of the Pelvis
JurassicThe second of the Mesozoic Ages. From 206 to 144 million years ago
LabyrinthodontGiant carnivorous amphibians resembling large salamanders with teeth
MandibleLower jaw
MarsupialA mammal that gives birth to under-developed young and rears them in a pouch
MaxillaPart of the upper jaw from which the teeth grow
MesozoicThe Age of Reptiles. Includes the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous
MonotremeA mammal that lays eggs. The platypus and the echidna are the only living forms
MosasaurA type of marine reptile related to monitor lizards
MYAAbbreviation for "Million Years Ago"
Neoceratopian'New Horned Face'. The Ceratopians including Protoceratops and Triceratops.
OlecranonThe 'funny bone'. An extension of the Ulna at the elbow joint
Ornithomimid'Bird Mimic'. A group of bird-like Theropod dinosaurs including Ornithomimus and Gallimimus
Ornithopod'Bird Foot'. The mostly Bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs
OsteomyelitisA disease of the bone, caused by infection
OviraptorosaurThe group of strange toothless Theropod dinosaurs that includes Oviraptor and Caenagnathus
PelvisThe 'hip' bone, to which the legs attach
PlesiosaurA type of long-necked marine reptile
PliosaurSimilar to a Plesiosaur, but with a shorter neck and larger head
ProsauropodA group of long-necked herbivores from the Triassic. Thought to have given rise to the Sauropods
PterosaurA type of flying reptile, only distantly related to Dinosaurs
PubisPart of the pelvis
QuadrupedA creature that walks on four legs
RadiusOne of the lower arm bones. See also Ulna
Sauropod'Reptile Foot'. The largest of the dinosaurs, with long necks and tails and elephant-like limbs
ScapulaThe shoulder blade
ScapulocoracoidThe fused Scapula and Coracoid of Pterosaurs
ScuteA type of bony armour in the skin of dinosaurs and crocodiles
SedimentsLayers of soil or rock
SurangularA bone in the lower jaw (Mandible) of dinosaurs
TaxaPlural of Taxon
TaxonAnimal or plant group having natural relations
TerrestrialLiving on the land
Thecodont'Socket Tooth'. A group of quadrupedal carnivores that dominated the Triassic Period. Perhaps the ancestors of dinosaurs
Theropod'Beast Foot'. The Bipedal Carnivorous dinosaurs
ThorasicOf the ribs
TibiaThe main bone of the lower leg. The 'shin' bone
TriassicThe first of the Mesozoic Ages. From 248 to 206 million years ago
TrochanterA muscle attachment site found on the Femur of some dinosaurs
Type SpecimenSee also Type Specimen. A fossil on which a new species is based.
UlnaOne of the lower arm bones. See also Radius
VertebraA back bone
VertebraePlural of Vertebra


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