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Friday, January 7, 2011

Where Have All of the Sauropods Gone?


For the the past 100 years, paleontologists have been trying to solve the puzzle of where all the sauropods have gone. What's a paleontologist? A paleontologist is one who studies animal and plant fossils. What's a sauropod? A sauropod is any herbivorous dinosaur of the suborder Sauropoda, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, having a small head, long neck and tail, and five-toed limbs, and it's the largest recorded land animal.

In North America and Europe, the Jurassic was the heyday of the sauropods dinosaurs. After the beginning of Cretaceous period 145 million years ago, but the number of sauropod dinosaurs dwindled and then they disappeared. It was later that other sauropods from a different location reestablished the existence of these dinosaurs.

As explained in paleography by paleontologist Phillip Upchruch, the amazing "sauropod hiatus" is probably an illusion. Over the past few years, new dinosaur discoveries have begun to complete in the gap of sauropod gaps on both North America and Europe. One reason paleontologists may not have found sauropods in North America and Europe, is because they may be missing on the continents. They may have been missing in North America only between about 90 to 75 million years ago. They are absent in Europe between 83 and 95 million years ago.

There are still uncertain about those dates. Some of the 70 to 80 million year old sauropod remains discovered in North America have actually belonged to a different type of dinosaur, the hadrosaurs.

I have been wanting to be a paleontologist because I am interested in science, and the study of fossils. I was inspired by my fourth grade teacher because she was the one that first introduced me to paleontology.

To find out more go to http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/dinosaur/, or watch the video I made:

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