Millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the world - including Texas. They first appeared (roughly) 243 million years ago and lasted until about 66 million years ago. In the time since, they've become a global fascination. The interest stated in the early 19th century when Sir Richard Owen discovered the first fossils and named them dinosaur bones - dinosaur roughly meaning 'terrible lizard'). Since then, dinos have become a pop culture sensation thanks to movies like Jurassic Park and the Land Before Time.

History of Dinosaurs in Texas

The first documented dinosaur discovery in Texas happened in 1878 by professor Jacob Bell in Archer & Wichita counties. After that, dozens of discoveries have been made through out the state. In fact, a new species of dinosaur was discovered near Lake Grapevine (just outside of Dallas) back in 2020 - roughly 96 million years after it last roamed the earth.

The majority of the dinosaur discoveries have been made in the central and western part of the state. You can see a map of all the discovery locations here.

If you want to see some Texas dinosaur history, there's a few spots you can go. There's the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin that's home to a fully T-Rex skeleton. There's Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose Texas where you can see 110 million year old dinosaur tracks and a whole lot more. There's also several other prominent locations throughout the state.

My point: there's a LOT of dinosaur history to be found in Texas.

What Species of Dinosaurs Called Texas Home?

According to, dinosaurs found in Texas are from the early Triassic & Cretaceous periods - not the Jurassic period. I know when you think of Jurassic, you probably think 'T-Rex' because of the movies. But, the T-Rex actually lived during the Cretaceous period and was one of the last know species of dinosaurs before the extinction event that wiped all of them out (well, all dinosaurs but birds. But that's a whole other story).

Texas was home to roughly 21 of the over 300 kinds of dinosaurs known worldwide. I say roughly because, as mentioned above, new discoveries are being made all the time so you never know what might be discovered next.

So, what dinosaurs roamed the Texas plains long before Texas ever existed? Here's the list:

  • Coelophysis
  • Technosaurus
  • Shuvosaurus
  • Acrocanthosaurus
  • Iguanodon
  • Pawpawsaurus
  • Pleurocoelus
  • Deinonychus
  • Protohadros
  • Tenontosaurus
  • Proctor Lake hypsilophodont
  • Alamosaurus
  • Torosaurus
  • Ornithomimus
  • Euoplocephalus
  • Stegoceras
  • Edmontosaurus
  • Panoplosaurus
  • Kritosaurus
  • Chasmosaurus
  • Tyrannosaurus

LOOK: Find Real Dinosaur Tracks in Texas

Gallery Credit: Chaz

Thanks to '22 Drought, Huge Dinosaur Tracks Appear in the Paluxy River 3 Hours From Tyler, TX

Have you seen any of the pictures or videos coming out of Dinosaur Valley State Park this week? If you or our kids are a fan of dinosaurs you've got to make the trek to The Dinosaur Valley State Park trackway.

This'll blow you mind, at this park you can literally walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs from millions and millions of years ago, thanks to these fossilized tracks.

You Can Stay in a Colorado Hotel Full of Dinosaur Bones

You’d never know it from looking at the outside, but a hotel in Colorado is a museum filled with dinosaur bones on the inside.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

More From Mix 93.1