Dinosaurs: A Blast From The Past

Dinosaurs are some of the greatest creatures that have ever roamed the surface of this Earth. Some of them standing at heights of over 80 feet, were large species that were diverse in nature. Some flew across the sky with their wings so large that it made a sunny day seem cold and dark. The Quetzalcoatlus is the largest avian dinosaur and stood at a height equal to a giraffe. When in the air, their wingspan was around 37 feet wide!

Quetzalcoatlus eating small dinosaurs. Image by By Mark Witton and Darren Naish — Witton MP, Naish D (2008)

Other fierce and more common dinosaurs included the Tyrannosaurus rex and Brachiosaurus altithorax. These two creatures were complete opposites of each other. One was a gentle giant while the other was a fast-moving predator. The Brachiosaurus is best known for its long neck, similar to a giraffe. These gentle giants were herbivores that would feed on plants in trees high in the sky. One of the funniest things about them is the structure of their body. They are in a family known for having small skulls. Their skull was around the size of a horse head yet, their body was the size of a building.

Fortunate for human survival, most of these beasts that roamed the Earth became extinct due to a cataclysmic event. The stories are true, an asteroid hit the Earth, somewhere around Mexico, and caused immediate death to millions of species nearby. This event even created an ash cloud so large that you would not see the light of day for weeks. Not all creatures died, however. Species such as the shark and alligator still live with us today and are some of the most feared creatures alive. Who knows what can still be alive from the pre-historic era?

Stingrays: The Planes Of The Sea

The stingray is no doubt one of the most fascinating creatures you can find in the ocean. Their rubbery skin, long wing-like structure, and massive tail are very unique to their species. The Stingray is a cartilaginous fish that is closely related to sharks. The life span of these fish is currently unknown in the wild but, in human captivity, they live from 5-10 years. They are also very diverse in the size they can reach. Small Stingrays can reach a diameter of a dinner plate or a little less than a foot. Large stingrays can reach up to 16 feet!

The Stingray is a very well-adapted creature for the ocean. Their grey top allows them to blend into the darkness of the ocean if being observed from above. From below, they have a white belly that replicates the brightness of the sun. One of the most amazing things about Stingrays is their ability to sense prey. Similar to sharks, they can detect the biological electrical pulse that other organisms give off. This allows them to locate their prey much more easily. Finally, the Stingray has a sharp spine that sticks off its tail. This spine has sharp ridges that cut anything that touches it. It also has cells that release venom to enter the wound.

Whale Sharks

One of the largest organisms in the ocean is the massive whale shark or R. typus. These creatures are beyond any other shark in size, reaching lengths of 33 feet long and a mouth almost reaching the size of a human at 5 feet in length. These amazing sharks are typically located in tropical waters between 30 degrees North and 35 degrees South.

Although these nonmammalian vertebrae are immense and scary in size, these creatures are no harm to humans. Whale sharks are filter feeders and use their large mouths to eat plankton, krill, shrimp, and anything else that gets engulfed in the black hole we call a mouth. The Whale shark and many other organisms in the sea have a dark dorsal skin tone and a light, usually white, belly. This is to achieve camouflage from both above and below. The white blends into the bright light of the surface of the water if you look below and the dark back resembles the dark blue water the shark swims in.