Lufeng Basin

In the early jurassic, about 200 million years ago, a shallow inland sea covered much of southern China. Rivers flowed into it, and on their floodplains lived prosauropods, a group of large plant-eaters that came before the sauropods. It was the discovery of one of these Lufengosaurus, that alerted the world's paleontologists to the importance of the Lufeng Basin rocks, where red-colored sandstones, mudstones, and shales had built up to a depth of 3,280 ft (1,000 m). About 12 Early Jurassic...

How to use this Atlas

This atlasof DiNosAURscanbeusedinseveral ways. The main maps showmajorfossil locations andlist someof the prehistoric animalsfoundthere.Inthepages thatfollow, fii litier information isgivenforboththe locations and the animals. Finally, if you want to find out more about dinosaurs and what happened to them, you can turn to the section at the end of the book. Formation > Province . Color key the three divisions of the Mesozoic Era are color-coded, so you can see at a glance which period a...

Africa

Africa's dinosaurs are known from about 80 locations. j The continent's oldest dinosaurs date to the Late Triassic, about 200 million years ago, and are found in the south, particularly in South Africa, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe. The same region also accounts for Jurassic specimens, but it is the east African discoveries at Tendaguru, Tanzania, that really define Africa's dinosaurs of this period. The best examples of Cretaceous dinosaurs, from 70 million years ago, belong to Egypt, Morocco, and...

U Fossilized Dragonfly

Fossils of invertebrates (animals without backbones), particularly insects, are preserved in great detail, such as this Zigoptera dragonfly. Jaw was long and slim, and although the snout has not been found, it may have had a spoon-shaped tip Irritator was the first Early Creataceous dinosaur to have been discovered in Brazil. It is known from a nearly complete skull, discovered in the Santana Formation. Its facial features suggest that it was probably a fish-eater. The greater part of the...

Eoraptor

In the Triassic forests of Argentina lived the tiny Eoraptor a predatory animal that hunted lizards and small mammal-like creatures. It was one of the first carnivorous dinosaurs. About the size of a sheep, Pisanosaurus was a plant-eater. It ate low-growing plants, which it nipped with sharp teeth at the front of its mouth. Fossns from the early cretaceous, about 100 million years ago, have been discovered in Brazil's Araripe Basin. At this time, South America lay close to Africa, but as the...

D Icy Island Landscape

Antarctica has many islands, most of which lie close to the mainland, as do James Ross Island and Vega Island. They are almost fully covered in snow and thick ice, but both have small areas of ice-free ground where fossils are found. Less than one percent of Antarctica is bare rock. rises to a height of about 4,900 ft (1,500 m) James Ross Island and the smaller Vega Island nearby lie off the northern coast of Antarctica, at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. James Ross Island and the smaller...

U Tendaguru Then And

In the Late Jurassic, Tendaguru was a lagoon or estuary. Rivers flowed into it, carrying the corpses of animals to a mass grave. Sediments fossilized them, and it is these deposits of red sandstone that have yielded Africa's finest examples of dinosaurs. made up one-third of Barosaurus's length of bone in pairs along the neck and upper back The skeleton of Kentrosaurus reveals its framework. It had two rows of bony plates on each side of its backbone, protecting its neck, shoulders, and the...

Auca Mahuevo

The southern part of south america, known as Patagonia, is an area of dry, rocky desert, spanning Argentina and Chile. At Auca Mahuevo there is a spectacular dinosaur nesting site, where the desert surface is littered with the eggs of Late Cretaceous sauropods (huge plant-eating dinosaurs), laid 80 million years ago. Ancient Patagonia was also the home of predators, including the formidable Giganotosaurus and the smaller Aucasaurus a dangerous visitor that may have fed on the defenseless Auca...

North America

Dinosaur fossils have been discovered at nearly 300 different locations in North America. They are found in the western interior, the southwest, and the eastern seaboard, in rocks that formed during the age of dinosaurs, from the Late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous. Throughout these 170 million years, an unknown number of dinosaur species lived on the continent's slowly changing landscape and, so far, paleontologists have identified about 70 different kinds. They belong to all the major...

Bahariya Oasis

Egypt's modern landscape is a sandy desert through which flows the Nile River. It hasn't always been like this. In the Late Cretaceous, this part of North Africa was a coastal zone bordering the ancient Tethys Sea. Around 95 million years ago the area was a swampland of shallow tidal marshes, water channels, and tropical forest. This was a good place for turtles, crocodiles, and dinosaurs to live. Spinosaurus a predator on a scale with Tyrannosaurus rex caught fish here, and there were enough...

Staurikosaurus

A lightweight carnivore, Staurikosaurus was an agile hunter. It had a long tail, grasping hands with sharp claws, and many small, biting teeth set into its long jaws. These scorpions thrived in the warmth and were part of the food chain for the region's carnivores. Tall, straight horsetails thrived in the damp conditions. With jointed stems and short leaves, these plants were a vital source of food for herbivores. Herrerasaurus was named after Victorino Herrera, an Argentinian farmer who...

Moment Of Impact

The size of the Chicxulub crater indicates that it was made by an asteroid some 6 miles (10 km) across, which struck the Earth at a speed of about 62,000 mph (100,000 kph). The impact caused a colossal explosion that instantly vaporized the asteroid, hurling a vast plume of hot gas and debris into the atmosphere roid in ed, but he stor o have change d carbc here. R( es, the The impact theory was suggested in 1980 by physicist Dr. Luis Alvarez (1911-1988) and his son Walter (b. 1940), a...

Hell Creek Today

The soft rocks of Hell Creek have been steadily eroded by the actions of wind, water, and ice, wearing them into the deep canyons and ravines that characterize the area today. Known as badlands, (because the terrain is bad land to cross over) the dinosaur-bearing rocks lie in thick, horizontal layers. The oldest are at the bottom, and the youngest at the top. This was the biggest carnivore of the Late Cretaceous, and the top predator in the Hell Creek environment. Several different kinds of...

U Diplodocus Skull

Several almost complete Diplodocus skeletons were excavated. This giant sauropod (a plant-eating dinosaur), whose small head was just 1 2 ft (0.5 m) long, stripped leaves from trees with its peglike teeth. A big predator, Ceratosaurus crossed the low-lying floodplain on the hunt for prey. Its bones have been found at the site, mixed among the fossils of herbivores. A short horn grew from its head, between its eyes. This may have been used in a headbutting contest with a rival Ceratosaurus UGE...

Corythosaurus Skeleton

Many well-preserved adult Corythosaurus skeletons have been found at Dinosaur Provincial Park, including this example, which only lacks part of its tail and hands. The dinosaur's body shape can be reconstructed with great accuracy because it is so well-preserved. In the Late Cretaceous a great variety of plants grew in the swamps and surrounding landscape, providing a supply of food for the many herbivores that lived here. More than 170 different species of plant have been identified in the...

Ankylosaurus

Many plant-eaters developed heavy armor as protection against increasingly powerful hunters. Ankylosaurus was covered with bony spikes, and it could use its heavy tail club as a deadly weapon. The Cretaceous saw the appearance of flowering plants like this magnolia. They were so successful that they soon dominated the landscape, and the flowers encouraged the evolution of new forms of insects. The Cretaceous saw the appearance of flowering plants like this magnolia. They were so successful that...

U Dinosaur Hips

There were two main types of dinosaur. Giant sauropods like Diplodocus and ferocious theropods like Tyrannosaurus were lizard-hipped saurischians, with a large bone called the pubis pointing down between the hind legs. Other dinosaurs like Iguanodon were bird-hipped ornithischians, with a smaller pubis. Confusingly, modern birds actually evolved from saurischian dinosaurs. The pterosaurs were not dinosaurs, but they had the same archosaur ancestors. They had a lot in common with the dinosaurs,...

Southern Africa

Africa's most ancient dinosaurs are found in the south of the continent. Here, in the Early Jurassic, about 200 million years ago, herds of tiny Lesothosaurus lived alongside the first of the giant plant-eaters, such as Massospondylus and Vulcanodon. This warm and dry region was also home to small lizards and early mammals, and hunting them was the carnivore Syntarsus a fierce predator of this semidesert environment. Dinosaurs of southern Africa have been found in several countries, including...

Atlas

London, new york, Munich Melbourne, and delhi Project art editor Philip Letsu Designers Sheila Collins and Spencer Holbrook Editor Jenny Finch Senior editor Shaila Brown Managing editor Linda Esposito Managing art editor Diane Thistlethwaite Publishing manager Andrew Macintyre Category publisher Laura Buller Picture researcher Jo Walton and Julia Harris-Voss DK picture library Rose Horridge and Claire Bowers Production controller Katherine Thornton DTP designer Siu Chan Jacket editor Mariza...

Woodlice

These insects lived on the decaying wood of fallen branches and dying trees, as their descendants do today. Surviving the subzero temperatures of its polar home was this two-legged plant-eater. Leaellynasaura lived in groups, and was armed with good eyesight and self-sharpening teeth.

Liaoxiornis

About the size of a hummingbird, Liaoxiornis was the smallest bird from the Cretaceous. Its feet could grasp a branch, so it could perch most of the other early birds could not do this. The area teemed with life. Trees and ground plants such as horsetails and ferns covered the land. The first flowering plants were just appearing, too. Discovered in 1998, this birdlike dinosaur had long feathers on its arms and tail. Unable to fly, its feathers may have been used to attract mates, like birds...

Ghost Ranch

In northern new Mexico there is a famous fossil quarry from where hundreds of skeletons of Coelophysis have been excavated. This small dinosaur lived in the Late Triassic, and at around 220 million years old it is one of the world's oldest dinosaurs. The bone bed where so many were found is named Ghost Ranch, after a nearby farm. It lies east of Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park, and both sites belong to the Chinle Formation of rocks. These ancient fossil-bearing rocks began as soft...

U Dragonfly

The watery landscape of Early Cretaceous Britain teemed with wildlife, of which dinosaurs were only a part. Lakes and rivers were the domain of fish, turtles, and crocodiles, and insects especially dragonflies were common. This dragonfly has been preserved right down to its wing veins and body stripes. A large herbivore, many Iguanodon specimens have been found across southern Britain. It lived in herds, grazing on horsetails and ferns, which it cropped with its bony, toothless beak. Cheek...

Parasuchus d

Taceable Dinosaurs

It looked like a crocodile, walked like a crocodile, had jaws like a crocodile, and lived like a crocodile. Despite these similarities, Parasuchus was not a crocodile at all. It was a phytosaur a semiaquatic, meat-eating reptile that thrived in the Triassic, but became extinct at the end of this period. India's Pranhita and Godavari rivers flow south to the Bay of Bengal, following channels through a river basin, which is a depression in the Earth's crust. This is a vast area of low-lying...

Tendaguru

A gem hunter searching in east africa made one of the most remarkable dinosaur discoveries ever. It was 1907, and instead of finding small garnet stones for use in jewelry, the German collector stumbled across giant, fossilized bones at Tendaguru. Between 1909 and 1913, German paleontologists and hundreds of local workers recovered 250 tons of fossils, all of which were carried to Lindi, from where they were shipped to Germany. From the mass of bones, 150 million years old, emerged dinosaurs of...

Southern Britain

Early cretaceous southern Britain was a vast floodplain that extended south from where London is today, across to France and Belgium. Rivers and streams flowed down from hills to the north, cutting their way through the plain, filling lakes, then slowing as they reached a massive delta clogged with sediment. The ancient foothills of London were clad with forests of conifers, monkey puzzle trees, and cycads, and the floodplain was a scene of open woodland and ferns. This was the home of...

Australia and Antarctica

For much of dinosaur history, the continent of Australia lay closer to the South Pole than it does today. It was connected to Antarctica, and both landmasses experienced cold temperatures and low levels of light. Despite these seemingly unsuitable conditions, dinosaurs, such as the big-eyed Leaellynasaura, lived in Earth's deep south, where they adapted to the long winter darkness. About 25 dinosaur locations are known from Australia, particularly in the northern state of Queensland and the...

Richmond Pliosaur

Richmond Pliosaur, it is one of the world's best-preserved pliosaurs. Shown here is an illustration of how a pliosaur might have moved scientists think it used its flippers to swim like a sea lion. powerful flippers may have been used to propel the pliosaur through the water as they moved down forcefully flippers are now raised slightly upward, as the backward push through the water begins are now fully pushed back and then brought forward, enabling the pliosaur to start the cycle again