Dinosaur Fossil Sites in the Mongolian Gobi
The Mongolian Gobi Desert is the largest dinosaur fossil reservoir in the world. The region is especially important as regards dinosaur fossils from the later Cretaceous period, which is the last of main three periods of the dinosaur age, representing the final phase of dinosaur evolution.
Paleontologists still continue to discover fossils that prove the current territory of Gobi Desert had a very different climate and environment before 120 to 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Over a history of almost 100 years of dinosaur research, more than 80 genera of dinosaurs have been found in the Mongolian Gobi Desert and identified in science as individual groups, and over 60 fossil sites of dinosaurs and other vertebrates are being discovered by their spato-temporal distribution (from the earlier ages until late) across the Gobi Desert.
Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)
Bayanzag is located 110km northwest from Dalanzadgad town Omnogobi province. Bayanzag is the place where the first dinosaur eggs were found by U.S scientist Roy Chapman Andrews in 1920. Their findings proved to the world that dinosaurs laid eggs. Bayanzag means “rich in saxaul”, an endangered Central Asian tree 2 to 9 m high, whose roots are longest for protection.
The nickname of “Flaming Cliffs” is dubbed by Roy Chapman Andrew due to the orange-red rock the mountain is made of. It extends north to south. Its wide is 5km length is 8km.
White escarpment called Tugrugiin Shiree is located 30km away Bulgan soum, Omnogobi province. A Polish-Mongolian expedition in 1965 found the first known fossils of this strange creature. A set of two massive forelimbs with three gigantic claws on each arm prompted them to name it
Most famous discovery from Tugrugiin Shiree is “Fighting dinosaurs” (a fossil of a Protoceratops and a Velociraptor locked in combat) fossils which were found first time in the world in the 1970s by A Polish-Mongolian expedition. Now those fossils are on display in Natural History Museum of Mongolia.
Also huge dinosaur foot prints found here. Still some of dinosaur fossils are finding here.
Dinosaur’s native land. The first full skeleton of a dinosaur was found in this place.
In the Gobi, natural miracles are countless and one of them is named Khermen Tsav, a wonderful canyon made of red mud rocks. The spectacular rocky formations of Khermen Tsav are located 460km from Dalanzadgad town and 150km from north side of Gurvantes soum, in the extreme Northwest of the province of Omnogovi, between Mount Sharig at North and Mount Altan at South.
Khermen means “wall” and Tsav means “fissure”. Thousand of years of erosion formed this majestic canyon, in which rocks are balanced 30 metres (98,43 feet) above ground. The canyon stretches on 250 square kilometres (96,53 square miles), and is 200 metres (656,17 feet) deep, but between the lowest point and the highest one, there is a difference in height of 1000 metres (0,62 mile). The scientists agree that 200 millions years ago, the place was covered with an inner sea. The American archaeologist Roy Chapman Andrews named this place “The end of the World”. Khermen Tsav is famous for its natural beauties, as well as for its bountiful underground fossils of dinosaurs.
Nemegt is located 400km away from Dalanzadgad town, Omnogobi province. The Nemegt Basin and its Nemegt Formation are home to one of the most interesting dinosaurs ever found: a plant-eating, pot-bellied, duck-billed giant slow-poke. A giant pterosaur has been discovered in the Nemegt Formation in the Gobi desert. The large, dragon-like creature would have lived and died 70 million years ago, and likely had a wingspan of 10 to 12 meters. Paleontologists discovered five fragments of the animal’s neck bones in 2006. The researchers have not yet named the new species or even decided if it is, in fact, a new species because the remains are so incomplete. The find does, however, show for the very first time that there were gigantic pterosaurs roaming the Asian skies.
Shar tsav is situated 80km away northeast from Khanbogd soum and 108km from Manlai soum in the south. The site was discovered on July 31, 1995 by Mongolian Japanese researchers and a joint expedition conducted active field research in 1996, revealing over 2800 prints of dinosaurs. Later detailed researches in 2001 and 2010 detected over 18000 footprints and tracks of 4-5 types of herbivore and carnivore dinosaurs. Therefore, it is a unique paleontological heritage site proving that dinosaurs lived in groups. Mongolia and Japan joint archeologists found abundant dinosaur footprints from Shar Tsav, Omnogovi province in 1995.
Useful links: Mongolian Dinosaurs > List of dinosaurs found in Mongolia
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