Many movies depict dinosaurs as living side by side with their own kind. In some films, these prehistoric reptiles even have family units. Although this makes for a fun movie, it wasn’t always the case. Some dinosaur species—especially herbivores—most likely lived or traveled in groups, but the same isn’t true for all predators. Fuel your love of prehistoric knowledge as you learn which dinosaur species lived in herds.
The hypsilophodon was a smaller herbivore with a crested head that walked on two legs. These dinosaurs lived during the Early Cretaceous Period and mainly used their beaked mouths to eat vegetation. Since discovering the fossils of these beasts, scientists have concluded that the species lived and traveled in large herds.
Another dinosaur that likely lived in herds was a massive sauropod known as the brachiosaurus. These enormous reptiles lived during the Late Jurassic Period and used their extra-long necks to reach leaves in the highest trees. Due to fossil findings, experts assume that the brachiosaurus traveled in large herds, since this made migration safer.
Scientists have uncovered many fossil grounds in the US and Canada that were filled with the bones of many of these ceratopsians. Therefore, many scientists hypothesize that the styracosaurus lived in herds. However, other paleontologists believe these beasts didn’t always live in groups—they may have migrated together, but otherwise lived alone. These dinosaurs mainly ate plants such as cycads and palms.
Why Did Herbivores Live Together?
We’ve just scratched the surface—various herbivorous dinosaurs likely lived or at least traveled in herds because of the increased safety. Predators such as the T. rex, allosaurus, and spinosaurus created the need for these herbivores to protect themselves. Staying in groups decreased the odds of being hunted.
What About Predators?
What about fearsome predators such as the velociraptor or T. rex? Were they loners, or did these dinosaur species live in herds? Some scientists believe that certain theropods hunted together—the more hunters you have in a pack, the easier it is to take down large prey. Of course, it can also increase competition for food.
While movies often depict velociraptors as group creatures working together to hunt, most scientists agree that little evidence supports this. It’s possible that some predators, such as the giganotosaurus, lived in groups, as scientists have uncovered groups of fossils of this species. However, it’s just as possible that the giganotosauruses had simply killed one another.
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