Which dinosaurs dominated prehistoric Arizona? Valley 101 finds out

46390 DINO27 A 20-foot long, life-size bronze Dilophosaurus, created for the Mesa Southwest Museum by artist Michael Trcic, of Sedona, is a native species to Arizona. Cori Takemoto Williams/The Arizona Republic August 26, 2002.

Prehistoric Arizona was a wild place. Volcanoes, earthquakes and a number of other incursions by the ocean remade the land over the course of tens of millions of years. The reign of the dinosaurs was punctuated by these geological adjustments.

Starting within the Triassic Period, nearly 252 million years in the past, elements of our state burst with verdant foliage. The Petrified Forest in northern Arizona was alive throughout this time. It was on this interval that the primary dinosaurs developed.

Fast ahead roughly 50 million years to the Jurassic Period, a lot of what would develop into Arizona dried out. Some areas have been even coated in sand dunes. Volcanoes loomed over numerous elements of the state. You can see their remnants in locations just like the Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains. 

Besides the energetic volcanoes, there have been quite a few earthquakes. Enormous tectonic forces moved the continents all through the Mesozoic period. In Arizona, land may simply as simply be pushed up as pulled aside. In reality, some elements of the state the place the elevation adjustments sharply are remnants of the place the land was hire aside by these tectonic forces. 

Despite the upheaval, dinosaurs of every kind stomped by way of our area. From the popularized Dilophosaurus – which did not have a frill – to the large, long-necked Sonorasaurus, Arizona’s dinosaurs have been spectacular. At least so far as researchers can inform.

Nick Ratkevich, who helped his father, Ron Ratkevich dig up the bones of the Sonorasaurus, looks at the exhibit at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Ron says that the exhibit accurately portrays how the bones were found in the Whetstone Mountains. The photo was estimated to have been taken in 1996 or 1997.

We know little or no about Arizona’s dinosaur age. It was practically cleaned from the paleontological file. But why? 

In this episode of Valley 101, we dig up the solutions to what sorts of dinosaurs lived right here and why there are so few fossil information in our state. 

Listen to the episode:

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