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Dinosaurs are a diverse group of vertebrates that share a set of characteristics not seen in other reptiles. Dinosaurs have a femur (thigh bone) with an in-turned head that fits into a completely open hip-socket and a hinge-like ankle. These features contribute to the dinosaurian erect stance and increased running ability.


The Cretaceous (144-66 million years ago) fossil record for dinosaurs in Texas includes bones, teeth and tracks. TMM has a long history of collecting dinosaur fossils in the Big Bend region of Texas. Remains of the sauropod Alamosaurus, ceratopsid Chasmosaurus, hadrosaurid Kritosaurus and theropod Tyrannosaurus are on exhibit alongside several specimens from other parts of North America.

Dinosaurs did not completely go extinct 66 million years ago—one branch of the dinosaur family tree includes birds!