Are dinosaurs reptiles? (9 interesting questions)

Are dinosaurs reptiles? This is the question we will answer in this article. This article will also cover the similarities and differences between dinosaurs and reptiles, birds and mammals. Let’s go through the article and see what we will find about dinosaurs.

Are dinosaurs reptiles? 

Yes, one can say that dinosaurs are reptiles but to some extent only. They ruled the earth over 140 million years and evolved into diverse and much complex organisms with time.

Whether it is a fearsome giant Spinosaurus or chicken-sized Microraptor, and dinosaurs were able to adapt themselves according to their changing environment. 

The question arises from the differences that dinosaurs and reptiles have, like having a standing posture stance than a crawling hind leg posture that most of the reptiles these days posses. 

The further differences and resemblance of reptiles made the palaeontologists dig in deeper to find out the lineage of dinosaurs and knowing are dinosaurs reptiles or not. 

The differences of dinosaurs with reptiles also arise possibilities to cross-check its origin with modern-day birds or mammals as well. 

The following points will help you to go into the further detail of this topic and help you know are dinosaurs reptiles or not. 

Are dinosaurs reptiles or birds?

Dinosaurs are a group of reptiles of the clade Dinosauria and when we speak about dinosaurs we are talking about non-avian species of dinosaurs.

As we have learned so far that dinosaurs ruled the earth for millions of years, due to their ability to adapt to adverse environments as well as the favourable ones. 

Structure and function correlated, so it might be possible that ancient dinosaurs went through some structural changes according to their function as an impact of a continuously changing environment. 

The structural changes that dinosaurs went through may suggest that there is a further possibility for the answer to our question are dinosaurs reptiles or birds

There are two types of dinosaurs discussed in this article known as avian dinosaurs that are closely related to birds and non-avian dinosaurs that are closely related to reptiles.

Dinosaur is a greek word meaning terrible lizard. In ancient times crocodiles were considered as dinosaurs.

Comparisons of theropod, Archaeopteryx, and (modern) chicken skeleton

Peter Makovicky, associate curator of dinosaurs at the Field Museum said, “And that just a jargon for understanding how birds came to be, how bird anatomy and specialization systems were put together step-by-step through evolution”.

Peter Makovicky is trying to say that birds were evolved from dinosaurs. So far we have tried to answer our main, question are dinosaurs reptiles? Or are dinosaurs reptiles or birds? 

So one can say dinosaurs have been both birds and reptiles, owing to the evolutionary point of view with some of them evolving into modern-day birds and some of them evolved into reptiles. 

The discovery of dinosaurs’ fossils made the human mind baffle that how can such gigantic living beings could be a part of their world. It also helped human minds to study the origin of life and how exactly life came in existence on this planet. 

Just like one can say dinosaurs are reptiles or dinosaurs are birds, one can also wonder are dinosaurs mammals? which leads us to go further in this article. 

Are dinosaurs reptiles or mammals?

Being a science student, one knows that one of the biggest identification features of mammals and birds used to be that they are warm-blooded, while reptiles are cold-blooded animals. 

Dinosaurs are cold-blooded reptiles but there were some large-sized dinosaurs in history that can stabilize their body temperatures like that of mammals and birds.

Owing to this fact that some of the dinosaurs in the history exhibit this salient feature of being warm-blooded animals, the chances that some of the dinosaurs are mammals, increases. 

So, answering our question, are dinosaurs reptiles or birds, we can say that some of them were mammals like and have their characteristics, such as being warm-blooded animals. 

But keeping in the mind the evolutionary point of view, it is highly likely to place dinosaurs as reptiles as most of the evidence suggests that dinosaurs are reptiles, meanwhile the differences of dinosaurs and reptiles give origin to other evolutionary theories. 

Are all dinosaurs reptiles?

So far in our, we have learned different evolutionary point of views regarding dinosaurs and are dinosaurs reptiles or not? 

Well, the answer to this question is pretty much clear by now, some of the dinosaurs are reptiles while some of them belong to different classes such as birds and mammals. 

All dinosaurs belong to Archosauria and so all are reptiles including allosaurus. Some of them have birds like characters and some of them have mammals like characteristics.

similarities between reptiles and dinosaurs skeletons

Are dinosaurs animals?

Yes, dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals from the reference of classification. They include both the avian and non-avian groups.

Some dinosaurs were herbivores and some were carnivores. Evidence proves that all dinosaurs were egg-laying and they were nest builders.

Some dinosaurs were bipedal and some were quadrupedal. They had crests and horns and it was common in every group of dinosaurs.

Why dinosaurs are classified as reptiles?

All dinosaurs lived in the Mesozoic era and are classified as reptiles. There are several reasons why dinosaurs are reptiles?

They are as below:

1-Dinosaurs have scaly skin as that of reptiles.

2-Dinosaurs lay eggs as that of reptiles.

3-Dinosaurs are cold-blooded animals.

4-Dinosaurs have feathers

Above reasons applies to both avian and non-avian dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs are either both reptiles and birds or do not belong to both of the groups of five kingdom classification.

A very different approach is that fish is the first vertebrate and after some time fish evolve into amphibians. Later amphibians evolved into reptiles and from reptiles, dinosaurs come out. This is the reason today we place dinosaurs in reptiles.

Reptiles to dinosaurs transition

Reptiles evolved from amphibians and reptiles evolved pterosaurs, dinosaurs and pelycosaurs.

Reptiles evolved during the Carboniferous period about 310-320 million years ago. First reptiles were anapsids having holes in skulls, later the discoveries of synapsid-like opening in the skull were made.

Near the end of the Carboniferous period, synapsid evolved into first large vertebrate and that is pelycosaurs and then they evolved into therapsids.

Later in the period, diapsid reptiles split into two major lineages: the first one is lepidosaurs( lizards and snakes) and the second group is archosaurs( crocodiles and dinosaurs).

So far we have a clear answer to the question are dinosaurs reptiles? And the evolution of dinosaurs from reptiles.

Lizard and dinosaurs similarities 

Following are the similarities between lizard and dinosaurs:

1-Both evolved from reptiles.

2-Both have scales on the body

3-Some dinosaurs are quadrupedal as that of lizard

Although there are similarities between dinosaurs and lizard, there is a huge difference between both of them.

The above similarities are mainly based on the classification and evolution of both dinosaurs and lizard from a common ancestor.

Did reptiles evolve from dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs are ancestors of modern reptiles.

There are four classes of class reptilia:

1-Crocodylia which include crocodiles, caymans and alligators.

2-Rhynchocephalia which include lizardlike tuataras

3-Squamata which include lizards and snakes

4-Testudines which include turtles and tortoises 

There are links found between dinosaurs and Crocodylia, Rhynchocephalia, Squamata, but we didn’t find any link between dinosaurs and Testudines.

How are dinosaurs different from reptiles?

There are a few differences in dinosaurs and reptiles and they are as follows:

1-Dinosaurs have five vertebrae in their hips while most of the reptiles have only two.

2-Dinosaurs can hold their limbs under their body while in case of reptiles limbs project out of the body.

3-Most dinosaurs(avian dinosaurs) have feathers on their body while reptiles do not have feathers.

4-Few dinosaurs are warm-blooded while reptiles are cold-blooded.

5-Reptiles lay leathery eggs while dinosaurs lay hard-shelled eggs.

6-Dinosaurs walk on two legs and four legs while reptiles walk on four legs.

Due to the evolutionary point of view, we place dinosaurs in reptiles. The question: Are dinosaurs reptiles? Arise because of above reasons.

Conclusion :

So far we answered our main question, are dinosaurs reptiles? along with the similarities and differences of dinosaurs with reptiles, birds and mammals.

We came to know that dinosaurs were reptiles as well as birds and some of them were mammals too. 

All the similarities and differences arise because of the evolutionary process in the past.

So if someone asks are dinosaurs reptiles the answer is yes some of them were and some of them not.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding this topic in the comment section below.

FAQs: Are dinosaurs reptiles

Are lizards related to dinosaurs?

Lizards are not related to dinosaurs, dinosaurs belong a different category of animal, which is more closely related to other reptiles such as crocodiles and birds. They belong to a group of reptiles called Archosauromorphs while izards come from a distantly related reptile group called Lepidosauromorphs. 

Are sharks dinosaurs?

Sharks are not dinosaurs, but they have been on this earth from a very long time. The modern-day shark jas said to be the ones that swam alongside the ancient dinosaurs in the prehistoric times. Megalodon was a shark, known to be the largest predator in history. It is said that it only extinct 2.6 million years ago while it even lived after the dinosaurs, about 23 million years ago. 

What animal is closest to at-rex?

Ostriches are the closest to a t-rex, Tyrannosaurus rex are birds such as chickens and ostriches, according to research, reported in the New York Times. 

Are sharks older than dinosaurs?

Yes, sharks are older than dinosaurs, as a group of sharks have found to be around for almost 420 million years, surviving five big mass extinctions. Making them older even humanity itself. 

What are the most feared dinosaurs?

Spinosaurus is the most feared dinosaurs. It has been the most dangerous dinosaur to walk on the Earth or swim in it. 

Who was the last dinosaur to die?

Triceratops Was the Last Dinosaur to die. 

Who wast the smartest dinosaur?

Troodon was the smartest dinosaur, it had a large brain for its relatively small size and was probably among the smartest dinosaurs. 



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