Date and Time
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
After years of virtual ignorance, palaeontologists are again investigating the dinosaurs of North Africa, and they are finding some surprises. Earlier accounts, by German and French palaeontologists, suggested there was a unique North African dinosaur fauna in the mid-Cretaceous. New work in Morocco, Niger, and Tunisia confirms this. A Bristol team, with international collaborators, has uncovered a vast bonebed, several square kilometres in extent, on the northern edge of the Sahara desert, in southern Tunisia, and this will allow a detailed determination of the dinosaurs. By mid-Cretaceous times, Africa was an island, and its dinosaurs, while retaining hints of relationships to North American and European forms, had begun to evolve their own independent character. Not least is the astonishing dominance of flesh-eating theropods.
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