Late Cretaceous Hell Creek page 1

From The Dinosaur Collector

The Hell Creek formation of Montana and the Dakotas represents the only well studied terminal Late Cretaceous fauna. ?It contains a varied group?of theropods, ornithipods, pachycephalosaurs, ankylosaurs and ceratopsids. ? The flowering plants dominate the flora; conifers are locally common with ferns and their allies primarily in a herbaceous role.  The last of the dinosaurs are found here.  Also the most famous dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops are from here.  It has been the popular vision of dinosaurs and how they lived.  The number of species compared to early periods appears to decline.  This could be a sign of environmental stress conversely it could also be a sign that the regression of the inland seas allowed for a larger more uniform territory favoring less speciation.  No fossil site of the same age have been found so we have no idea if the is representative of dinosaur populations elsewhere.  At the end of the period a massive meteor or comet stuck the Yucatan.  No dinosaurs have been found after that event.  ? It marks the end of the age of the dinosaurs. ???Updated 12/11/05


Master pages Late Cretaceous Diorama pages

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Recent discoveries have given us more information about Tyrannosaurus ( Tyrant Lizard), Albertosaurus and Daspletosaurus have become rare but Tyrannosaurus seems to have been relatively common..  They even may have formed family groups with a mated pair and offspring of various ages. 

Use the scroll bar to view entire diorama.   From Right to left Kaiydo Tyrannosaurus, Toyway Ankylosaurus, Kaiyodo Triceratops, Schleich Edmontosaurus,  Toyway Leaellynasaura, Tamiya Hypsilophodon, Two different Tamiya Triceratops.

Triceratops ( Three Horned Face) fossils are very common leading us to believe Triceratops were very common.  Unlike their earlier relatives we find no bone beds indicating large herds.  Perhaps they had small family structures like deer or rhinos. 

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Triceratops is a popular and almost a required figure for a dinosaur line. ?Starting from the left we a front half of a Schleich then a green Invicta  Triceratops., a Wild Safari adult and calf, further back a gray UKRD. ?Then next a trio the older green ?Carnegie Safari, a Bullyland and then a striped Battat Triceratops. ?Then we have two different versions of the Battat Tyrannosaurus ? Boston Museum figures. ?The last Battat figure balanced by its tail ?and the earlier figure with the tail raised. ?Unfortunately the original more attractive and realistic figure tends to fall over. ?An interim fix put snowshoe like bases on the feet but a three-point stance was eventually needed to keep the figure upright.??Last?a PlayVision tric.

Leptoceratops at about 6 feet long was one of the last and most primitive of the protoceratopsids. ?This is a primitive dinosaur and probably much like the ancestors of TriceratopsTroodon (stabbing tooth) was a small theropod.  It had a sickle claw like the raptors but was only distantly related.  Know for a large brain similar in size to modern birds it is thought to have been nocturnal and have preyed on early mammals who were also nocturnal.

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The latest Bullyland Tyrannosaurus with JP2 chicks. ?In the background are two green Leptoceratops custom created in the style of the Panosh figure.??Wild Safari and current Carnegie Safari Triceratops with JP1 babies. ? The older Carnegie Safari Triceratops both color schemes with JP2 babies.??Scroll far right for the Troodon are National Geographic Micro Machine figures.

?The terminal Late Cretaceous fauna?seems to have a lower diversity of dinosaur species than the preceding period. ?The total number of species is lower and the ecosystems seem to be dominated by just one or two of the remaining species. ?Edmontosaurus and Triceratops?are the most common dinosaurs; others are uncommon or rare.  Edmontosaurus is very similar looking and closely related to Anatotitan, Anatosaurus in North America as well as Shantungosaurus in China.  Ankylosaurs are common ?in the Scollard formation of Alberta that overlaps in time with the Hell Creek formation. ?Its close relative Ankylosaurus in the fossil record succeeds Euoplocephalus. ?While earlier pachycephalosaurs were small to medium size animals, Pachycephalosaurus was the giant of the family at 15 feet long. ?Known mostly from skulls, it has been speculated these washed down from the dry interior of the continent. ????

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The UKRD Edmontosaurus and Ankylosaurus above are based on dated reconstructions.  The popular but invalid 1950's species Trachodon has largely been subsumed by Edmontosaurus.  Trachodon was based on very finds of teeth some of which were from Triceratops.   ? The ?Bullyland Tyrannosaurus one of the first bipedal Tyrannosaurus figures. ?There is a Play Visions Euoplocephalus. ?The Invicta painted Tyrannosaurus and a Wild Safari Pachycephalosaurus are farther to the right.

Once Ornithomimus was regarded as the same animal as Struthiomimus. ?There are differences as Ornithomimus lived later and had lost the last ?bit of the forth toe.  

Safari Tyrannosaurus Battat Pachycephalosaurus

The newest?Tyrannosaurus from Carnegie Safari ?and it's retired predecessors. ? The Ornithomimus ?is from the Oriental Trading Company and the Pachycephalosaurus is from Battat .

?Torosaurus?is the other ceratopsian. ?Smaller and much less common than triceratops with the largest skull of any animal that lived on land. ?The name means protuberance lizard not bull lizard as often claimed.?  It may not have nearly as rare as we think.  The frill is very thin and fragile and complete skulls are rare, odds are many partial skulls attributed to Triceratops are actually Torosaurus

Toyway Schleich Torosaurus Ankylosaurus Kaiyodo Tyrannosaurus Troodon

Toyway Walking with Dinosaurs and Schleich Torosaurus from their most recent addition to their dinosaur line.   Recently the reconstruction of Torosaurus has changed radically so both of these figures are probably out dated.?The Tyrannosaurus is from Kaiyodo and the Ankylosaurus is from Toyway. ? The Troodon are K&M figures.


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