Dinosaurs and Dinosaur Fossils
in South Carolina

Fossils Found in South Carolina
Dinosaur Descriptions
Why Dinosaurs Aren't Found in South Carolina Today


What is a dinosaur?
A dinosaur was a prehistoric reptile. Another name for a dinosaur is dinosauria which means terrible lizard. Dinosaurs were not lizards. The first dinosaur appeared about 230 million years ago. Dinosaurs died out about 65 million years ago.

What is a dinosaur fossil?
A dinosaur fossil is a prehistoric remain of a dinosaur. Most fossils are found in sedimentary rocks.

Who works with fossils?
The people who work with fossils are paleontologists.

Fossils Found in South Carolina

Dinosaur Descriptions
Dromaeosaurid A dromaeosaurid was a running lizard. It could run fast. They were small. They were meat eaters. They were smart and deadly. The velociraptors, deinonychus, and the dromaeosaurus were part of the dromaeosaurid family.
Hadrosaur A hadrosaur was a duck billed dinosaur. A hadrosaur could grow up to 26-32 feet long. The weight was up to 1-5 tons. They ate several kinds of plants.
Theropod Theropods were carnivores. They had strong jaws. They were large and small. They walked on their hind legs. They were powerfully built dinosaurs.
Velociraptor A velociraptor was a meat eating dinosaur. This dinosaur grew to be 20 inches tall at the hips and 6 feet long. A velociraptor ate small dinosaurs and mammals. A velociraptor attack was usually with the claws that were on the second toe of each hind foot.

Why Dinosaurs Aren't Found in South Carolina Today

Theory One
  • A meteor hit the earth.
  • Tons of dirt and dust went up into the air. This might shake the earth and start volcanic eruptions . It would put more dust and dirt into the air.
  • The dust would block the sun from reaching the earth.
  • The plants did die because the sun could not reach the earth.
  • The dinosaurs that ate plants died.
  • The meat eating dinosaurs died because they couldn't eat the plant eating dinosaurs.
Theory Two
  • Flowering plants appeared.
  • The dinosaurs could not digest the new plants.
  • The dinosaurs died.
  • Some scientists don't believe that is true.
Theory Three
  • A few scientists believe that a disease appeared and killed the dinosaurs.
Theory Four
  • The climate changed.
  • It got colder and the dinosaurs were used to warmer weather.
  • The dinosaurs died from cold weather.
Theory Five
  • Little mammals couldn't eat the dinosaurs but they ate the eggs.
  • There would not be as many babies as usual.


  • Carolina Rocks: The Geology of South Carolina by Carolyn Hanna Murphy
  • Dinosaurs of South Carolina and Other Ancient Creatures by Frank H. Morning, Jr. and Theresa B. Morning
  • www.enchantedlearning.com
  • The Rourke Dinosaur Dictionary by Joseph Hincks
  • Sandlapper: The Magazine of South Carolina Autumn 1993
  • World Book Encyclopedia 2000 edition
  • Zoobooks: Dinosaurs June 1999
  • Special thanks to Mr. Jim Knight, paleontologist at the South Carolina State Museum, for getting us started on the right track!

About our O.P. Earle Elementary team