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DINOSAURS

Chapter 10:

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF DINOSAURS.


Remains of Dinosaurs have been found in all the continents, but chiefly in Europe and North America. Explorations in other parts of the world have not as yet been sufficient to show whether or not each continent developed especial kinds peculiar to it, nor to afford any reliable evidence as to whether the relations of the continents were different during the Mesozoic. Thus far, the Carnivorous group seems most widespread, for it alone has been found in Australia. The Sauropods or Amphibious Dinosaurs have been found in Europe, North America, India, Madagascar, Patagonia, and Africa, sufficient to show that their distribution was world wide with the possible exception of Australia, and probable exception of most oceanic islands (few of the modern oceanic islands existed at that time although there may well have been many others no longer extant). The Beaked Dinosaurs are more limited in their distribution, for none of them so far as at present known reached Australia or South America. But in the present stage of discovery it would be rash to conclude that they were surely limited to the regions where they have been discovered. It is not wholly clear as yet whether the Dinosaurian fauna that flourished at the end of the Jurassic in the north survived to the Upper Cretacic in the southern continents, but present evidence points that way, and indicates that the girdle of ocean which during the Cretacic depression encircled the northern world, formed a barrier which the Cretacic dinosaurian fauna never succeeded in crossing.

The earlier groups of Beaked Dinosaurs are found in both Europe and America, and in the Cretacic the Duck-billed and Armored groups are represented in both regions. The Horned Dinosaurs, however, are known with certainty only from North America.

While most of the important fossil specimens in this country have been found in the West, more fragmentary remains have been found on the Atlantic sea-board, and it is probable that they ranged all over the intervening region, wherever they found an environment suited to their particular needs.



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