Mesozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

Location
 Africa
 110 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 150% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 6x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 4C above modern level

Mesozoic Earth - Ouranosaurus drink at a watering hole while a menacing Sarcosuchus floats nearby - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Mesozoic
  Period: Cretaceous
   Epoch: Early
    Age: Albian

     
 

Ouranosaurus stalked by Sarcosuchus

Three iguanodont dinosaurs of the genus Ouranosaurus drink at a watering hole while a menacing crocodyliform of the genus Sarcosuchus floats nearby 110 million years ago in what is today Africa. The environment is moderately arid with Prickly Juniper and other hardy conifers dominating the ruddy landscape.

Ouranosaurus was a variety of iguanodont, a group of large plant-eating dinosaurs that also includes the well-known "duck-billed" hadrosaurs. At about 24 feet long and 4 tons, Ouranosaurus was unusual in that its skeleton suggests it had a large hump on its back. The hump may have served as a reservoir for water and/or source of nutrition for lean times as they do for modern bison and camels.

Sarcosuchus, a distant relative of the crocodile, was one of the largest giant crocodile-like reptiles that ever lived. 30-40 feet long and weighing 8 to 10 tons, Sarcosuchus was almost twice as long as the modern saltwater crocodile. It would have been a formidable threat even to a beast as large as the Ouranosaurus.

 

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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