Dinosaur Cove

In the early cretaceous, about 110 million years ago, some dinosaurs lived in a polar environment, where there was total darkness for the months of winter and temperatures fell below zero. At this time, Australia lay within the Antarctic Circle, and dinosaurs that lived there were adapted to cold, dark winters followed by days of 24-hour sunlight in summer. Leaellynasaura was one of them, roaming in herds across a forested plain. Today, in an area of south Australia known as Dinosaur Cove, the...

Solnhofen

In the late jurassic of 150 million years ago, the southern region of Germany lay near the Tethys Ocean. Away from the coast were lagoons of still water, and between them were islands on which dinosaurs lived. But it is not land-living reptiles for which this lost world is famous, as they are rarely found. When the waters of the lagoons dried up, and their muddy sediments turned into limestone, it preserved the bodies of flying reptiles that had sunk to the bottom. As the limestone quarries of...

D Quetzalcoatlus

One of the last and biggest of the pterosaurs, Quetzalcoatlus had a huge wingspan of at least 36 ft (11 m). Its long, toothless beak was adapted for catching fish, and it probably spent much of its time soaring over oceans like an albatross. Early pterosaurs like Rhamphorhynchus had long tails and no crests on their heads. Fossils of close relatives show that they had furry bodies. The fur would have acted as insulation, suggesting that the pterosaurs were probably warm-blooded, like birds. at...

U Muttaburrasaurus

An ornithopod (bird-footed), Muttaburrasaurus may have lived in herds that traveled long distances in search of food. It moved on all fours, browsing on ferns, but it could have stood on its hind legs to reach cycads and conifers growing high above the ground. Minmi was the first armored dinosaur to be discovered south of the equator. It was named after the Minmi Crossing in southeastern Queensland, where the fossil was found. Minmi is an aboriginal word, referring to a large water lily....

Excavation and Display

Yporn Hunters Xyz

When a dinosaur fossil is discovered, it is usually a confusing mess of bones that have been pulled apart by scavengers or swept into a heap by the elements. Once the bones are exposed, the first job is to record their exact positions and any details of the site, since this may provide valuable clues about the animal's anatomy or life. Only then can excavators carefully remove the fossils, clean them up in the laboratory, and analyze and preserve them. They may then be used to make a replica...

Gobi Desert

Locked inside the sandstones of the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, are incredibly well-preserved dinosaur fossils of the Late Cretaceous. A stretch of rock 6 miles (10 km) long has yielded a snapshot of animal life from 75 million years ago, when the region was dry and sandy with little water. Oviraptor nested here, Velociraptor was the hunter, and herds of Protoceratops grazed on the low-lying ground, only to be entombed by sandstorms. Today, fossilized bones, eggs, and nests are found in the fire-red...

U Plateosaurus

Perhaps Europe's best known Late Triassic dinosaur, Plateosaurus comes from sites in Germany, France, and Switzerland. An ancestor of the giant plant-eaters of the Jurassic, it walked on all fours, and may have reared up on its hind legs to reach high-growing leaves. It could just as easily have grazed on ground plants. Tail, which was held off the ground when it walked, was used as a support when Thecodontosaurus stretched up Each foot had four toes with sharp, pointed claws.

D Gastonia

An early member of the ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) family, Gastonia's neck, back, and tail were covered in wide, flat, bony spines. It was a herbivore that probably grazed on ferns and other ground plants. Many specimens have been found in the rocks of the Cedar Mountain Formation, suggesting it was one of the area's common dinosaurs. The Early Cretaceous rocks of the Cedar Mountain Formation occur in the southwestern US, in eastern Utah and parts of Colorado. It includes the sandstones of...

True Fossil

The big dinosaur bones that are excavated by paleontologists are usually true fossils, formed by a process of mineralization. Over millions of years, groundwater containing dissolved minerals seeps into bones that have been buried by later sediments. The minerals in the bones turn solid, somewhat like limescale forming in pipes, and this transforms the bones into stony fossils. These teeth and jaws of the giant Cretaceous hunter Tyrannosaurus rex were preserved in this way. Some fossils do not...

Europe

Ra> The dinosaurs of europe are currently known from about 375 different locations across the continent. They range in date from the Late Triassic of 225 million years ago to the Late Cretaceous, 65 million years ago. It was in Europe that the curiosity in ancient animal bones first began, and the earliest scientific studies and naming of dinosaurs were carried out here. About 80 dinosaur species have so far been identified in the countries of Europe, from small carnivores to the giant...

Thecodontosaurus

Discovered in southwest England, Thecodontosaurus belonged to the prosauropods (an early plant-eating group of dinosaurs), just like Plateosaurus, though about a quarter of its size. Able to walk on its hind legs, as well as on all fours, Thecodontosaurus may have used its long thumb claws to hook plants, then pull them toward its mouth. It had spoon-shaped cheek teeth with serrated edges, which were ideal for stripping leaves from ginkgoes and other Triassic trees.

Fossil Beaches Spain

Spain has produced evidence for about 15 Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaur species, from lightweight runners such as Hypsilophodon and Pelecanimimus to the heavyweight plodders that were the last of the sauropods. It is the members of this group that mark Spain out for special attention. Although the bones of these giants are rare, their eggs are not. At Bastus in northeast Spain, thousands of sauropod eggs have been found in nests. They were laid about 70 million years ago, on a sandy beach. No...

Jurassic Plants

At up to 50 ft (15 m) long, Liopleurodon was a massive marine carnivore that could have swallowed an Ichthyosaurus whole. It was one of the pliosaurs short-necked, streamlined oceanic hunters that flew through the water using their long flippers. The Jurassic undergrowth resembled that of the Triassic Period, with many ferns, horsetails, mosses, and similar nonflowering plants. There was still no grass.

Dashanpu

In the middle jurassic, 165 million years ago, central China was a lowland river plain. The region was prone to flooding, and many dinosaurs drowned in the rising waters. Their bodies were washed downriver, where they collected at river bends before slowly sinking in tangled groups into muddy sediments. Over time, the rivers disappeared, leaving deposits behind that set into the sandstones and mudstones of Sichuan Province. In 1972, at Dashanpu, an enormous bone bed of dinosaur fossils was...

Dino Xyz Indian

The story of India's dinosaurs begins in the Late Triassic, about 220 million years ago, when they were just beginning to make their presence felt across the ancient world. At this remote time, India was locked to the southern part of Pangaea, the supercontinent made up of all Earth's land. It was attached to what would become Africa and Antarctica, after the break up of Pangaea. In an area of floodplains and rivers, where today's Pranhita-Godavari river basin lies, crocodilelike reptiles...

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

Dinosaur Ironfish

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

Liaoxiornis Dinosaur

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