It might be hard for you to imagine, but millions of years ago giant reptiles ruled the earth. They were called dinosaurs. Some were like lizards, while others were more like birds.

Most dinosaurs were herbivores, meaning they only ate plants. But some were carnivores that killed other dinosaurs for food. While very few dinosaurs were carnivores, they tend to be the more commonly known type. A few examples are the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptor.

So, if dinosaurs have not been around for millions of years, then how do we know about them? Scientist have been able to learn about dinosaurs due to fossils that are found in the ground. These fossils are carefully dug up and then put back together to determine what the dinosaurs probably looked like.

Most dinosaurs were very large. Some of them were even believed to have reached 40 feet high! That is twice as tall as the tallest animal in the world today. Some dinosaurs, however, were only as big as a small chicken. The microraptor, recently found in China, was only 16 inches long.

You might be wondering why dinosaurs are no longer around. Scientists are not quite sure, but they have some interesting theories. The most popular theory is that a large meteor struck Earth, which sent dust and dirt into the sky. The debris would have blocked the sun, causing all plants to die. Without plants, the dinosaurs that were herbivores would have died off first, followed by the carnivores.

People have always been fascinated by the idea that dinosaurs once existed. Maybe it is because of their size, or perhaps it is due to how ferocious they appear once reconstructed. Scientists are always finding out new facts about dinosaurs. Who knows what they will discover next?

Lexile: 800-900
Words: 298
Genre: Nonfiction, Informational
Read time: 2:00
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Read by: Brian James
Illustration by: Sujono Sujono