Various Bones From California's State Dinosaur

Various post cranial skeletal elements of California's State Dinosaur, originally excavated in 1939-40 from a locality situated near the western edge of California's Great Central Valley. The specimens belong to a hadrosaur duckbilled herbivore called Augustynolophus morrisi. In life, it would have weighed some three tons, with a 26-foot length. This specific genus-species of hadrosaur occurs only in the upper Cretaceous portions of the upper Cretaceous to Paleocene Moreno Formation. An intriguing side-story here is that sophisticated high resolution stratigraphic sampling of Moreno Formation foraminfera (tiny shells secreted by a microscopic single-celled organism)--exquisitely sensitive time indicators that lived and died during specific, restricted moments in geologic time--proves that during deposition of the Moreno Formation, the hadrosaur dinosaurs went extinct a full 1.23 million years before the infamous meteorite impact of 66 million years ago--a big space chunk collision many investigators identify as the kill-shot that ended the dinosaurian dynasty on Earth. Photograph courtesy Albert Prieto-Márquez and Jonathan R. Wagner, who described the dinosaur in a technical scientific paper.

Return To Dinosaur-Age Fossil Leaves At Del Puerto Canyon, California