Food chain of the dinosaurs

Giant reptiles dominated our world for more than 165 million years. Many peoples know apex predators and giant herbivores. But the earth was the home for many species in those days. They were walk, swim, and fly around the world. The balance between this kind of life is very valuable. So, there should be a dinosaur food chain. Together they made the dinosaur food web.

Producers of the dinosaur food chain

Just like today plants were the producers of this food chain. Dinosaurs live on earth in Mesozoic Era. It includes the Triassic period, the famous Jurassic period, and the Cretaceous period. The Triassic period started 252-201 million years ago and ended in 201 million years. The Jurassic period is about 201-145 million years ago. The Cretaceous period started 145 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago. Finding out how plant life was during these times is a bit difficult.

The Mesozoic Era started after the late Permian mass extinction. Most plants and animals disappear after a series of massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia. Seedless plants were growing at an early age in the Mesozoic Era. First plants with seeds were beginning to emerge in the later periods of the Mesozoic era. But they were not like what we see today. Without flowers or fruits, they got the name ‘naked seed’. Plants with flowers and fruit around seeds are also believed to begin in this Era.

ferns, cycads, ginkgophytes, and bennettitalean are great examples of Mesozoic vegetations. Many unusual plants exist in that era. Evergreen trees called conifers were the food of most herbivores’ dinosaurs like famous sauropods. Other than that redwoods, yews, pines, the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria), cypress, Pseudofrenelopsis are included in Mesozoic Era vegetation.

Analyzing this information, especially flowers and seeds, we can conclude that the Mesozoic Era is the starting point of the most diverse plant groups today.

Primary consumers of the dinosaur food chain

Primary consumers are the second level of a food chain. They eat primary producers which convert solar energy and store it. They are considered herbivores. Dears, cows, and elephants are modern-day primary consumers. Back in the Mesozoic Era animals like triceratops were primary consumers. They are and were important for the environment.

triceratops are herbivores
triceratops are herbivores

A triceratops is 9.0m in length and 5500kg in weight. They have horny beaks and shearing teeth which makes it easier to eat Pham fronds. They have 4 legs and moved using them mike 4 leg animals today. Their fossils are found in the USA. The triceratops is a horned dinosaur. They prefer to live as herds. Their frill is helpful to protect its neck and attract mates.

These primary consumers were important to controlling the vegetation population. They were also important as food for carnivorous animals. Interestingly many people think that dinosaurs are carnivores but most of them are herbivores.

Secondary consumers of the dinosaur chain

Reptiles like Tyrannosaurus rex also known as t-rex are well known due to the influence of pop culture. These dinosaurs were at the top level of the food chains back in the day. They had no predators. If the mass extinction at the end of the Mesozoic era didn’t happen descendants of these animals might still dominate the world.


Tyrannosaurus was large and powerful. They are up to 40 feet in length and 12 feet in height. Their weight is over 9tons. It is more like only another tyrannosaurus can challenge a tyrannosaur.

Scotty is a recently described fossil. You can see the remaining parts of it at the rex Discovery Centre. It is more massive than the previous star Sue (approximately). Scotty’s femur is around 133cm in length with a circumference of 59cm. But Sue’s femur is only 132.1 cm in length and circumference of 57.5 cm. Remember that the number of fossils we found is nothing compared to the number of t-rexes that lived in the past. So, there may be very large apex predators living on the earth.

That’s land but things get interesting in the water. Today dolphins and whales rule the ocean but back then it was also reptiles. They ate fish, cephalopods, and bivalves. Sometimes even one another. Ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs were two marine reptiles who were top predators in the ocean.

Many flying dinosaurs fall into the secondary consumer category. They ate fish, small animals, eggs, and even baby dinosaurs. Their anatomy is very effective to catch their food. A long beak is very useful to catch fish. They had sharp eyesight that can see prey on the land from the sky where they fly.

Finalising the food chain

Now we have the basic three levels of a food chain. Plants as the primary producers. Herbivores like triceratops in the second level. Finally, carnivore animals like Tyrannosaurus rex are at the top.

dinosaur food chain
dinosaur food chain

Connecting these we get a simple food chain. Multiple chains like this and much longer ones together form a food web. We can call it the dinosaur food web.

Dinosaur food web from Mesozoic era

Dinosaur Food Web

The dinosaur food web is an important part of the study of dinosaurs. The food chain that led to their extinction has been studied by scientists to understand how ecosystems work and why they may have changed. A complete dinosaur food web would consist of plants, fungi and insects feeding on plants, then larger animals feeding on smaller animals, and so on.

dinosaur food chain and dinosaur food web from the mesozoic era
dinosaur food chain and dinosaur food web from the Mesozoic era

The Mesozoic Era was a time when dinosaurs were dominant on land. Their remains are abundant in rock formations from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. These fossilized bones and teeth can be used to estimate the sizes of these creatures at different points in time by using known characteristics such as their shape or size of their teeth (which can also be seen in modern reptiles).

The Mesozoic Era ended 65 million years ago with the extinction of most non-avian dinosaurs except birds. Paleontologists have been studying these extinct animals ever since, searching for clues to how they lived and died.

Dinosaur food webs are based on the idea that each form in the food chain has a direct relationship to another form, from top predators like Tyrannosaurus rex to bottom feeders like trilobites. Dinosaurs are represented by their own genus (example: Tyrannosaurus) which represent species within that genus that eat other members of their own species (example: Triceratops).

The dinosaur food web is an illustration of the major trophic levels in the ecosystem of dinosaurs. This food web shows how a variety of organisms interacted with each other to feed the dinosaurs.

The trophic level at which each organism occurs indicates its role in the food web. For example, herbivores are at the beginning of the chain because they are primary consumers and eat plants or other small animals. Carnivores are at the end of the food chain because they eat only other animals, while omnivores are in between them, eating both plants and animals.

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