North America, Morrison Formation
Apatosaurus ajax was a giant animal. Averaging lengths of 75 feet (26 m), it was one of the real heavyweights of the Jurassic period. Unlike its more gracile contemporary, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus was more robustly proportioned and is considered by many palaeontologists to have been a generalist browser, traveling in herds between stands of riparian conifers and cycads that typified the flora of the late Jurassic landscape.
The Morrison formation in North America is famous for producing some of the most recognisable dinosaurs, the sauropods Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarasaurus and the newly reinstated Brontosaurus, the plated ornithischian Stegosaurus and the carnivores Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus. During the bone wars of the 1870-90s the Morrison formation was a favoured prospecting ground for the famous rival palaeontologists Othniel C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, who discovered and named many of these now iconic animals.
The Morrison formation outcrops in several states of the Western United States and represents deposits laid down 156-146 Ma. over a large alluvial floodplain. Stands of conifers, ferns, cycadeoid and cycad species clung to the banks on meandering rivers. The Morrison is considered to have been a hot and arid savannah-like landscape visited by seasonal rains and periodic flooding.
Acrylic on board.
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