Many people wonder what kind of creatures were previously alive on earth. Through the study of the fossils that have been discovered, experts have learned that these creatures were not merely dinosaurs but a few other forms of reptile. Furthermore, they are not one in a single line but instead feature a variety of different looks. Because of this, it has helped scientists understand how dinosaurs and reptiles evolved.
Darwin's Origin of Species was published in 1859, but it was not until the following year that paleontologists became interested in fossils. Before then, paleontologists had focused their attention mainly on analyzing skeletons and teeth from animals, rather than fossils themselves. In 1871 a young scientist by the name of Alfred Lord Tennyson visited England. He spent some time in Yorkshire, where he made some extraordinary discoveries regarding fossil teeth. During this trip to England, Mr. Tennyson made an important announcement. Specifically, he announced that he had learned through his travels and study in South America that dinosaurs were not the first species to walk the earth. Instead, he said, these creatures were "apes", more similar to modern-day non-avian reptiles and amphibians. Therefore, any recent discovery regarding these creatures must be viewed with more than a single eyebrow.
The first thing that most people are aware of regarding these creatures is that they looked very much like dinosaurs. However, when Mr. Tennyson looked at various fossils, he noticed that several characteristics were distinctly different. Specifically, he noted that the teeth appeared to be more robust, and there were many points in between each tooth. Many people immediately recognized these traits as belonging to a previously extinct species of dinosaurs.
This discovery by Mr. Tennyson opened up a new era in paleontology. Before this discovery, there were very few fossils that were complete enough to tell us anything about the dinosaur species they belonged to. Many people feared that there might be nothing left for scientists to learn from these creatures at all. With the help of Mr. Tennyson and others, paleontologists discovered that there were many more species of dinosaurs alive today than previously thought.
While the above facts are undoubtedly exciting and provide new insight into the planet's history, they are by no means the most recent discovery. Other facts, such as Pterodactyl's feather discovery, were uncovered over a hundred years ago. These and other facts, such as the exact weight and girth of dinosaurs, are still fresh in people's minds today. Therefore, while dinosaurs may no longer be alive, their information will forever be part of the scientific process.