Scientists Discover World's Largest Dinosaur Bone Bed

Paleontologists have discovered what they believe to be the largest known bed of dinosaur bones. It's in Hilda, Alberta, and covers about 2.3 square km. Their findings suggest that a precursor of the triceratops, found in large numbers at the site, may have traveled in herds numbering in hundreds to thousands of members. Why did so many die at this location? Senior researcher David Eberth thinks that the dinosaurs may have been trapped by rising floodwaters:

Rather than picturing the animals as drowning while crossing a river, a classic scenario that has been used to explain bonebed occurrences at many sites in Alberta, the research team interpreted the vast coastal landscape as being submerged during tropical storms or hurricanes.

With no high ground to escape to, most of the members of the herd drowned in the rising coastal waters. Carcasses were deposited in clumps across kilometres of ancient landscape as floodwaters receded.

“It's unlikely that these animals could tread water for very long, so the scale of the carnage must have been breathtaking,” said Mr. Eberth. “The evidence suggests that after the flood, dinosaur scavengers trampled and smashed bones in their attempt to feast on the rotting remains.”

Link via Geekosystem | Image: West Virginia University at Parkersburg

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