When it comes to unlocking the past, fossils shed a great deal of light on the kinds of creatures that once roamed the Earth. Antarctica is seldom thought of as a location where dinosaur bones and skeletons would emerge, but the icy conditions have produced a handful of specimens. Interestingly, many of the finds have remained unnamed, but were placed into categories.
Equipped with a protective armor, a Nodosaurid Ankylosaur was found in 1986 on James Ross Island , becoming the first dinosaur discovered in Antarctica. The creature lived during the late Cretaceous period and walked about the earth on four limbs.
During late 2003, an unnamed Theropod was found by Judd Case, James Martin and their team as they explored James Ross Island. This dinosaur was a biped that walked on two feet and feasted on other dinosaurs for their meals. Fossils left behind included bones from the lower leg and foot. Fragments of the upper jaw along with some teeth were also uncovered. The theropod measured 6 to 8 feet and lived during the Cretaceous period (closer to the end of the Mesozoic Era), which was around 70 million years ago.
In 1999, an unnamed iguanodontid was found on James Ross Island beach covered in rocky terrain. The bipedal creature ate plants and measured 12 feet long.
Plant eating dinosaurs belonging to the group of Plateosaurid prosauropods and hailed from the early Jurassic period were found in Antarctica. These creatures remained unnamed.
The bones of an unnamed Sauropod were uncovered in the Antarctic interior in late 2003. William R. Hammer and his team happened upon the bipedal plant-eating dinosaur, which possessed a long neck and measured more than 30 feet long. Bones from the pelvis and the ilium (located in the hip) were discovered. The hip bone measured 3 meters wide when it was found. This particular species dwelled during the Jurassic period , about 200 million years ago.
With a duck bill and walking around on two limbs, an unnamed hadrosaur was found by Jim Martin, who was associated with the Museum of Geology in South Dakota. Bones of this plant-eating dinosaur were uncovered on Vega and Seymour Islands in 1998.
The Hypsilophodontid was an ornithopod dinosaur that ate plants during the Late Cretaceous period. Bones from this species were located on the Lopez de Bertodano Formation on Vega Island in 1991.
The Cryolophosaurus was a theropod dinosaur, which ate meat and possessed a crest as one of its distinguishing characteristics. Measuring about 20 feet long, this dinosaur lived during the early Jurassic period. Fossils of the Cryolophosaurus were found in 1994.
Examples of Non-Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are not the only creatures to dominate the world millions of years ago. A host of marine life and other species lived at the same time as well. In Antarctica, researchers have uncovered many different aquatic reptiles, such as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, which were equipped with four flippers. Evidence of the Lystrosaurus has also been found , depicting a small herbivorous reptile with features similar to a mammal.