Why Were The Dinosaurs So Successful?
BBC Earth|March - April 2021
Why were the dinosaurs so successful?
Steve Brusatte

HOW SUCCESSFUL WERE THE DINOSAURS?

By every objective measure, dinosaurs were hugely successful. During much of the Mesozoic Era (252-66 million years ago), they dominated ecosystems on land, living in every conceivable environment from the poles to the equator, and from the seashore to the river valleys to the deep mountains. They diversified into thousands of species, ranging in size from feisty carnivores like Microraptor (about the size of a crow) to behemoth plant-eaters like Brontosaurus, with the heft of a jet airplane. Some were specialised runners, others diggers, and some even glided and flew. Some species were covered in armor and spikes, others had endless varieties of horns and crests for display, many lived in groups and had big brains and keen senses, and it seems like many dinosaurs – if not all of them – were covered in some type of feather. Indeed, today’s birds evolved from dinosaurs, meaning that 10,000-plus species live on, continuing dinosaur success to the present day.

WHAT WERE THE FIRST DINOS LIKE?

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