No official dinosaur species list exists, but scientists often refer to the Dinosaur Genera List, which was compiled by George Olshevsky. Scientists have been changing this list every time a new discovery is made or a decision to re-categorize certain species is made. For example, the super order Dinosauria now excludes the class Aves (birds), which has over 10,000 species alone.
Dinosaur Species List
In 1842 Sir Richard Owen coined the term "dinosaur". It comes from the Greek words deinos" and "sauros, which means "terrible lizard." These animals lived during the Triassic Period until the end of the Cretaceous Period. Scientists believe that there were over 10,000 species of dinosaurs living during this time period.
The word "dinosaur" has been used to describe many of the animals that lived 230-65 million years ago, even though they may have been sea creatures or birds. Initially it was believed that all dinosaurs were cold-blooded reptiles, but research has shown that these animals were diverse and included warm-blooded, winged creatures as well. Today, crocodiles and birds are considered to be the most closely related creatures to dinosaurs of the past.
It is believed that dinosaurs evolved from bipedal ancestors and slowly evolved over millions of years, taking advantage of eating new species of plant and animal life along the way. Some animals evolved as herbivores, others as omnivores and many were carnivores. The current scientific classification of dinosaurs is as follows:
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Reptilia
- Subclass: Diapsida
- Infraclass: Archosauromorpha
- Superorder: Dinosauria
- Orders: Ornithischia and Saurischia
- Suborders: (Ornithischia) - Cerapoda and Thyreophora
- (Saurischia) - Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda
The number of different dinosaurs in the dinosaur species list varies, but it is believed to number in the thousands. If you need help downloading any of these printable lists, check out these helpful tips. Begin here: