dinosaurdī´nəsôr [key] [Gr., = terrible lizard], extinct land reptile of the Mesozoic era. The dinosaurs, which were egg-laying animals, ranged in length from 2 1⁄2 ft (91 cm) to about 127 ft (39 m). Recognized discoveries of fossilized dinosaur bones date only to the 1820s; Sir Richard Owen, a Victorian anatomist, coined the term dinosaur.
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