The world’s largest dinosaur graveyard has been discovered in 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; Credit: Nobu Tamura)
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 Sunthat 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.