We know from books, magazine articles, and movies that the most popular and most unique creatures talked about in the media is dinosaurs. Any new dinosaur discovery is always big news. Everyone, young and old, is fascinated by dinosaurs, those huge ugly monsters, which the entertainment industry portrays as fearsome hunters!
The question that arises is “What makes dinosaurs unique?” Although we are unable to study a live dinosaur, most scientists have concluded that the dinosaurs were a special category of reptile. Scientists think they might have been cold-blood egg-laying, scale covered beasts but they do not know for sure they only speculate because they think they are a special category of reptile.
But what makes dinosaurs unique from other reptiles that we see today. First of all, dinosaurs had two different hip structures, one type of hip structure was called the “lizard hip”(Saurishian) and the other is called the “bird hip”(Ornithischian). Dinosaurs had hips that placed their legs beneath them, like a deer or emu. While today’s reptiles have legs that come off the sides of their bodies and then down such as an alligator, crocodiles or a lizard. Birds have a slightly different hip structure, even though they do stand erect. Birds are actually “knee walkers”. As far as is known, there are no animals alive.today, which have either a “lizard hip” or a “bird hip”. Only extinct dinosaurs had these types of hip structure.
Another distinguishing feature of the dinosaur is the structure of their skulls. All dinosaurs had skulls with peculiar openings in the sides, just look a Tyrannosaurus or Allosaurus skull at a museum. There are a few animals alive today (such as the tuatara in New Zealand) which have these peculiar openings in their skulls, but even these do not have a “lizard hip’ or a “bird hip” and thus are not considered dinosaurs.
The size of some dinosaurs were enormous. No reptile today attains the length and weight of some dinosaurs. The dinosaur called Diplodocus was huge. Its average length was over 80 feet and weighed about 15 tons. The Tyrannosaurus rex was also massive with its length being about the size of a tractor trailer (45-50 feet long) and his height was 18 feet and weighed about 5 to 7 tons. Some dinosaurs walked on four legs (quadrupedal) and some on two legs (bipedal). But the amazing thing about some of them was their tail. Dinosaurs used their tail mainly as a counterbalance. Some used them as whips for defense such as the Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. History museums have changed the position of the dinosaur’s tails from what they use to be. Most dinosaur fossil displays had the dinosaur dragging its tail behind him. Now, the muesums show their fossil dinosaur specimen displays with the tails of the dinosaurs up in the air. This makes them quite unique to reptiles and other animals today.
There was a reason why God created dinosaurs. It was not for us at all but for His pleasure that He created them. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created“.