How do we know so much about dinosaurs?
Dinosaurs were extinct before humans even walked the Earth – apart from Miranda’s prehistoric pals in Dinosaur World Live of course! – so how do we know so much about them?
Through fossils of course!
Fossils are dinosaur remains that help us understand what these amazing creatures were like back in the time when they roamed the planet. Information can be gathered from sources such as old bones, footprints, stomach stones, eggs and even feces! These are all considered fossils.
Where have the most Dinosaur fossils been found?
Dinosaur fossils have been found on every continent of Earth, including Antarctica but most of the dinosaur fossils and the greatest variety of species have been found high in the deserts and badlands of North America, China and Argentina.
Check out where some of the best Dinosaur fossils on the planet have been found below!
Dinosaur Fossils in America
Western North America has been one of the greatest sources of dinosaur fossil finds. Paleontologists like Miranda’s parents still routinely pull complete skeletons from digs in the Western United States, from Texas to Montana. A layer of rock below the Earth called the Morrison formation is the most productive source of these fossils on the continent, and is where most of the popular dinosaurs, such as Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus were first found, according to the National Geographic Society.
China is a hotspot for Cretaceous Fossils
A huge amount of fossils have also been unearthed in China, especially in recent decades. According to Paleontologist Phillip Manning’s book “Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs” (National Geographic, 2008) a rock formation in the Liaoning province northwest of Beijing is a particular dinosaur hotspot.
The site has hosted 20 million years of early Cretaceous fossils, including amazingly detailed fossils of feathered dinosaurs, like the Sinosauropteryx, that have spurred a scientific re-evaluation of the relationship between dinosaurs and birds.
Deserts shield fossils from natural elements in Argentina
Argentina and the surrounding deserts have a very rich fossil bank, almost comparable to North America mainly because the “desert” type environment shields fossils preventing them from being covered by plant matter. With that being said, given appropriate conditions, prehistoric marshlands can also be excellent fossil retaining sites.
Dinosaur Fossils in the UK
It may surprise you to learn that more dinosaurs fossils have been found across the green and pleasant land of the UK than in 190-odd other countries.
Most of the UK’s dinosaur fossils have been discovered in southern England – coastal sites such as the Isle of Wight and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset; the clay quarries of Surrey (Baryonyx); and the limestone and clay quarries of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.
FUN FACT: The first dinosaur bone ever to be described in scientific literature, possibly from Megalosaurus, was recovered from a limestone quarry in Oxfordshire in 1676, while 200 years later the remains of Camptosaurus were found in a brick and tile works near Oxford.
Do you and your kids love learning about dinosaurs? Are you looking for things to do in London with kids? Learn much more about our prehistoric pals and even meet a few at Dinosaur World Live in London!
Our interactive and educational show is the perfect Jurassic treat as a fun day out with the kids in London. ROARING at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre from 18 July – 1 September. Book your tickets now!