Relicts of the dinosaur age

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A few large lizards, such as the man-eating Komodo dragon, have been called “relicts of the dinosaur age,” but this phrase is historically incorrect. (Walking dinosaur costume)No lizard ever evolved the birdlike characteristics peculiar to each and every dinosaur. (realistic dinosaur costume)A big lizard never resembled a small dinosaur except for a few inconsequential details of the teeth. Lizards never walk with the erect, long-striding gait that distinguishes the dinosaurlike ground birds today or the birdlike dinosaurs of the Mesozoic.

 

Snakes are lizard nieces—descendants of a close relative of lizards. Some lizards have lost their limbs and slither like snakes, but true snakes have specialized eyes and jaws. Snakes, of course, are not at all close to dinosaurs.

 

Crocodiles and their next of kin, alligators, are unquestionably dinosaur uncles, relatives of dinosaur ancestors. (animatronic dinosaur rides)Baron Cuvier, Sir Richard Owen, and other early dinosaurologists discerned many important anatomical characteristics shared by dinosaurs and crocodiles. For example, dinosaur teeth are set in sockets—so are the teeth of crocodiles—whereas lizard and snake teeth are fused to the inside of the jawbone without sockets. Dinosaurs have a deep socket in the hip bones for the thigh, and so do crocodiles, but lizards do not. Crocodiles even show the beginnings of birdlike development in hip and thigh. Crocodiles first enter the chronicle of the rocks long after lizards but a few million years before dinosaurs. Frogs and their short-legged relatives the salamanders are amphibians, not reptiles. (animatronic dinosaur for sale)Amphibians lay water-breathing eggs, and usually the newly hatched young breathe via gills for a while before becoming air-breathers. Like the reptiles, the amphibians have “cold blood.” (“Cold blood” means that metabolism is so low that body temperature falls to air-ground temperature unless the animal can heat up by basking in the sun.) Amphibians have only a very distant kinship to dinosaurs.