STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 August 2014

Aralosaurus Stagnant

Aralosaurus does not have any movies or even tribute videos. That is okay though. Instead, let us look at Aralosaurus geography today. Aralosaurus is one of very few known and described Kazakhstani dinosaurs. Present day Kazakhstan is a mountainous steppe country that lies in both Europe and Asia; the Ural mountains that separate Asia and Europe pass through the western portion of the country. This, in part, explains why the range of Aralosaurus, though found only in Kazakhstan, is described as existing in both Europe and Asia. Kazakhstan during the Cretaceous, the time of Aralosaurus was quite a bit different from what it is like today. Fossil seeds that have been discovered in Kazakhstan include members of the Magnolia family, particularly Liriodendroid (tulip tree) seeds. These types of trees typically inhabit temperate and tropical areas of Asia, suggesting that Kazakhstan was probably home to either a temperate or tropical climate during the Cretaceous. Overall, Kazakhstan's sites are not as heavily studied as many dinosaur fossil sites in other areas of the globe and this leaves a rather large gap in the known and hypothesized biology of Aralosaurus. However, with the knowledge that flowering trees existed in the general area of Aralosaurus it is not too much of a jump to hypothesize that the primitive lambeosaur may have been eating flowers!

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