Cetiosaurus & Eustreptospondylus
Middle Jurassic, Scotland
Of all the periods of geological time in which the dinosaurs evolved, the Middle Jurassic is perhaps the least well understood, with few outcrops of rocks laid down during this period available to study anywhere in the world.
One place that does have a good Middle Jurassic record however is the United Kingdom, and this can shed light on what might have been going on elsewhere. It was during this period that the early Tyrannosauroids in the form of Proceratosaurus evolved, the Megalosaurids rose to prominence and large primitive sauropods such as Cetiosaurus set the pattern for the giant sauropods of the Late Jurassic.
In Scotland, hundreds of fossilised footprints of a Cetiosaur - like dinosaur have been discovered on the Isle of Skye. These animals appear to have been wading in a shallow brackish lagoon, possibly feeding on aquatic vegetation or using the salt water to remove dermal parasites.
Europe during the Middle Jurassic period is considered to have been a series of low lagoonal islands in a warm shallow sea. Habitats for large animals may well have been limited, and it is likely coastal environments would have been favoured.
Eustreptospondylus was a medium-sized megalosaurid theropod about six metres in length and probably the top predator in the Middle Jurassic of Europe at that time.
Acrylic on board.
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