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Mesozoic Blitzkrieg

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One interesting feature about the Langenberg quarry is that it not only very well preserved three dimensional fossils of many vertebrates, especially a whole herd of Europasaurus holgeri, but also some tracks. Among these are some which are of greater interest for the whole understanding of this ecosystem: Theropod tracks, some longer than 45 cm, so definitely, not the dwarfed monsters you would expect on a island populated by sauropods rarely larger than a horse. But interestingly there are no Europasaurus remains above the (now mostly lost) layers which contained the theropod tracks.
The authors of a new paper about these footprints suggest therefore that we maybe have here the documents of an biologic invasion. It's possible that a new land bridge formed during the late Jurassic and connected the Langenberg habitat with an much bigger european island. The faunal exchange brought larger, maybe 8 meters long (hip height 1,8-1,9 m), potential megalosaurids, similar to Torvosaurus in reach of the small Europasaurs. The possible outcome is visible here. 
Also interesting is the method the authors used, because the fossils are now part of the quarries product spectrum they were only able to work with photos made shortly before the blasting started. But thanks to modern techniques like Photogrammtery we can still analyse these lost rocks.

I was asked to produce some quick artwork for the press release of this fascinating paper and could hardly say no ;)
here the open access paper by Jens N. Lallensack, P. Martin Sander, Nils Knötschke, and Oliver Wingspalaeo-electronica.org/content…
And here the (german so far) press article with my art: www3.uni-bonn.de/Pressemitteil…

P.s. The differences between male and female Europasaurus are pure speculation.
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narcosaurus's avatar

They both look beautiful Joshua.