Dinos in Africa
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic period, between 243 and 233.23 million years ago, although the exact origin and timing of the evolution of dinosaurs is the subject of active research. They became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 201.3 million years ago; their dominance continued throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The fossil record demonstrates that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier theropods during the Late Jurassic epoch. As such, birds were the only dinosaur lineage to survive the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event approximately 66 million years ago. Dinosaurs can therefore be divided into avian dinosaurs, or birds; and non-avian dinosaurs, which are all dinosaurs other than birds.
List of African dinosaurs
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This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Africa. Africa has a rich fossil record, but it is patchy and incomplete. It is rich in Triassic and Early Jurassic dinosaurs. African dinosaurs from these time periods include Coelophysis, Dracovenator, Melanorosaurus, Massospondylus, Euskelosaurus, Heterodontosaurus, Abrictosaurus, and Lesothosaurus. In the Middle Jurassic, the sauropods Atlasaurus, Chebsaurus, Jobaria, and Spinophorosaurus, flourished, as well as the theropod Afrovenator. The Late Jurassic is well represented in Africa, mainly thanks to the spectacular Tendaguru Formation. Veterupristisaurus, Ostafrikasaurus, Elaphrosaurus, Giraffatitan, Dicraeosaurus, Janenschia, Tornieria, Tendaguria, Kentrosaurus, and Dysalotosaurus are among the dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Tendaguru. This fauna seems to show strong similarities to that of the Morrison Formation in the United States and the Lourinha Formation in Portugal. For example, similar theropods, ornithopods and sauropods have been found in both the Tendaguru and the Morrison. This has important biogeographical implications.
The Early Cretaceous in Africa is known primarily from the northern part of the continent, particularly Niger. Suchomimus, Elrhazosaurus, Rebbachisaurus, Nigersaurus, Kryptops, Nqwebasaurus, and Paranthodon are some of the Early Cretaceous dinosaurs known from Africa. The Early Cretaceous was an important time for the dinosaurs of Africa because it was when Africa finally separated from South America, forming the South Atlantic Ocean. This was an important event because now the dinosaurs of Africa started developing endemism because of isolation. The Late Cretaceous of Africa is known mainly from North Africa. During the early part of the Late Cretaceous, North Africa was home to a rich dinosaur fauna. It includes Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Rugops, Bahariasaurus, Deltadromeus, Paralititan, Aegyptosaurus, and Ouranosaurus.
Nyasasaurus in Africa Dated 240 million years
Two dinosaurs from Africa give clues to continents’ split
Fossils support idea of lingering bridges between landmasses
By Mike Bowler from Canada – Spinosaurus, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36582299
Spinosaurus marocannus jaw fossil (MNHN SAM 124), Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris.
The 'Dino-Brexit': Ancient animals sparked Europe’s first migration crisis
SOME 125 million years ago, dinosaurs started leaving Europe, sparking the continents first migration crisis and no one knows why.
By Sean Martin
PUBLISHED: 15:54, Mon, Apr 25, 2016 | UPDATED: 16:17, Mon, Apr 25, 2016
In the early Cretaceous period, between 125 and 120 million years ago, researchers discovered that dinosaurs began moving away from Europe.
A team of scientists from the University of Leeds created a computer model of the fossil record of dinosaurs to figure out their migration pattern up until their extinction 65 million years ago.
They found that there was a mass exodus of dinosaurs between 125 and 120m years ago while no new species were moving in.
Lead author of the study published in the Journal of Biogeography, Dr Alex Dunhill, of Leeds University, said: “This is a curious result that has no concrete explanation.
There are many examples of fossils found on separate continents and nowhere else, suggesting the continents were once joined. If Continental Drift had not occurred, the alternative explanations would be:
- The species evolved independently on separate continents – contradicting Darwin’s theory of evolution.
- They swam to the other continent/s in breeding pairs to establish a second population.
Remains of Mesosaurus, a freshwater crocodile-like reptile that lived during the early Permian (between 286 and 258 million years ago), are found solely in Southern Africa and Eastern South America. It would have been physiologically impossible for Mesosaurus to swim between the continents. This suggests that South America and Africa were joined during the Early Permian.
Cynognathus is an extinct mammal-like reptile. The name literally means ‘dog jaw’. Cynognathus was as large as a modern wolf and lived during the early to mid-Triassic period (250 to 240 million years ago). It is found as fossils only in South Africa and South America.
Lystrosaurus – which literally means ‘shovel reptile’ – was dominant on land in the early Triassic, 250 million years ago. It is thought to have been herbivorous and grew to approximately one metre in length, with a stocky build like a pig. Fossils of Lystrosaurus are only found in Antarctica, India and South Africa.
Glossopteris was a woody, seed-bearing shrub or tree, named after the Greek descripton of ‘tongue’ – a description of the shape of the leaves. Some reached 30m tall. It evolved during the Early Permian (299 million years ago) and went on to become the dominant species throughout the period, not becoming extinct until the end of the Permian. Fossils are found in Australia, South Africa, South America, India and Antarctica.
When the continents of the southern hemisphere are re-assembled into the single land mass of Gondwanaland, the distribution of these four fossil types form linear and continuous patterns of distribution across continental boundaries.