By Timothy Bradley

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Some dinosaurs grew very quickly compared to modern-day animals. Even the biggest dinosaurs, the largest animals ever to live on Earth, may have become fully grown in fifteen or twenty years. How do paleontologists know that? They can estimate by counting ''growth rings" in the fossilized bones, in the same way the growth rings in a tree stump can be counted to know how old it was. Tyrannosaurus Page 11 Maisaura Page 12 Did dinosaurs like water? Scientists used to think that sauropod (SAWR-O-pod) dinosaurs (a type that walked on all four legs, had small heads at the end of really long necks, and long tails), like this young Brachiosaurus (brak-ee-oh-SAWR-us), spent all their time in swamps because they were so heavy.

This one theory and there are many more. There are other questions too. Why didn't turtles of fish or crocodiles that lived along with dinosaurs become extinct? Why are cockroaches and shark still around, but no dinosaurs? Maybe you will find those answers someday.

What happened to them? Paleontologists think that a giant chunk of rock and ice form space, called a meteor, crashed into Earth, throwing up great clouds of dust and dirt, which make Earth colder and darker. This would have kept plants from growing, and the plant-eating dinosaurs would have had a hard time finding things to eat. If the plant-eaters starved, the meat-eating dinosaurs that preyed on them would have starved too. This one theory and there are many more. There are other questions too.

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