World’s largest dinosaur graveyard discovered

Centrosaurus skull

From Discovery News:

World’s Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Found

Analysis by Jennifer Viegas

Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:07 AM ET

The world’s largest dinosaur graveyard has been discovered in northern Alberta, Canada, according to David Eberth of the Royal Tyrrell Museum and other scientists working on the project.

The Vancouver Sun reports that the massive dinosaur bonebed is 1.43-square miles in size.

Eberth says it contains thousands of bones belonging to the dinosaur Centrosaurus, which once lived near what is now the Saskatchewan border.

Centrosaurus was a plant-eating, cow-sized dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous, around 75 million years ago. It cut quite a figure back then, with its top-of-the-head frills and rhino-like nose horn. There is some evidence that it engaged in horn to horn combat among its own species, probably males fighting over mates.

The impressive jaw muscles of Centrosaurus allowed it to sheer through extremely tough foliage with ease.

Although the Alberta dinosaur graveyard is noteworthy for its size, Eberth told The Vancouver Sun that it “is really ugly looking. The bonebed is actually exposed, it’s very patchy and exposed in outcrops along the beautiful landscapes along the South Saskatchewan River.”

A journal paper outlining details about it is expected later this month.

Alberta has yielded many well-preserved dinosaur remains in the past, but paleontologists have never quite been sure why. It’s hoped that this latest find may help to clarify what geological conditions, or series of events, help to produce such pristine fossils.

When Centrosaurus was alive, Alberta was a balmy tropical area along a coast. Dinosaurs are often found in such places. Can you blame them? Good weather, nice scenery, plentiful water and good eats were the primary draws.

There was, however, trouble in paradise, since every so often horrible tropical storms wiped out large numbers of dinosaurs, other animals, and plants. After the deaths, there is new evidence that mammals would come to check out the carnage and gnaw on the bones.

The Fossil Record of Prehistoric Gnawing: here.

Some dinosaurs nestled up to geysers and hot springs to incubate their eggs: here.

How common were the giant dinosaurs? Were house-sized plant-eating sauropods and stegosaurs rare beasts, or did they swarm over the Jurassic landscape? Here.

Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism: here.

Claws, Jaws and Spikes: The Science of the Dinosaur Arsenal: here.

2 thoughts on “World’s largest dinosaur graveyard discovered

  1. Pingback: Dinosaur discovery in Canadian sewer | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: New dinosaur species discovered in Alberta, Canada | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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