17 September 2014
Pictures of the Environment
The Montana Department of Transportation hosts a rather interesting listing of geological roadsigns found in the state that discusses the Hell Creek Formation. It is a good place to start looking at the world around Acheroraptor. A lot is known about the Hell Creek Formation overall. The flora and the fauna are well documented and include some rather famous denizens of the Mesozoic. These include Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops horridus and Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis. These large and well-known dinosaurs make up a good portion of the dinosaur species represented. There are also significant invertebrate, fish, amphibian, mammal, and varied reptiles (pterosaurs, crocodylomorphs, turtles, and squamates) recovered from the Hell Creek rocks. These are generally overlooked members of the representative fauna but each represents an animal that could have been prey of or preyed upon the medium dog sized Acheroraptor. The plants of Hell Creek represent a coastal/near coastal flood plain. Ferns, conifers, and mosses dominated the landscape that was evolving into a flowering plant paradise complete with palm trees, magnolias, beeches, and sycamores. This world has been described many times and the artwork depicting Cretaceous Montana is often very detailed and quite beautiful. Just look at images of Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus in their environment. All of the images of Acheroraptor we have seen lack background, however, the Csotonyi piece that accompanies the ROM display and most announcements of the description shows a lush jungle-like scene along with a feathered Tyrannosaurus.