In Mesozoica, you will have the opportunity to find and collect fossils from dig sites and formations situated all over the globe. Today we want to give the spotlight to one of the most populated and famous formations in the game: the Dinosaur Park Formation.
The Dinosaur Park formation lies in Alberta, Canada and takes its name from the Dinosaur National Park, a World Heritage site for UNESCO. Here, the rocks deposed about 76 million years ago during the late Cretaceous and are exposed in the badlands alongside the Red Deer river.
These areas were first explored by paleontologists near the end of the 19th century, during the famous “Bone Wars” between E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh. The firsts findings were made by Lawrence M. Lambe around 1897 while sailing over the Red Deer river. These fossils suggested that, in the Late Cretaceous, there was a rich and complex environment inhabited by many animals.
A LOST PARADISE… FOUND?
If we could take a look at the Dinosaur National Park as it was in the Late Cretaceous, we would see a alluvial plain crowded with herds of herbivores like Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus with groups of Stegoceras grazing under the enormous bodies of those hadrosaurs. Near the water streams we could see some Styracosaurus and some Chasmosaurus drinking and eating horsetails. In the background, under a Ginkgoites tree, a young Euoplocephalus is fighting for its life against a Gorgosaurus while a pack of Troodontids watches the scene hoping to get something from this clash. Alberta, in the Late Cretaceous, was a real paradise but dinosaurs weren’t the only inhabitants of this place: mouse-like mammals, lizards, turtles, crocodiles, frog and birds shared this habitat with the “terrible lizards”. Meanwhile, in the waters, sharks and fishes completed this incredible ecosystem. Will you try to recreate this prehistoric landscape in Mesozoica?
One of the most peculiar animals from the Dinosaur Park formation is the renowned Parasaurolophus walkeri. This hadrosaur was a herbivorous dinosaur that could walk in both bipedal and quadrupedal fashions. The main characteristic of this 9 meters’ long and 3 tonnes’ heavy animal is the singular crest above its skull. This nearly 2 meters’ long tube-like appendage was probably used for sexual display, to amplificate sounds and calls for communication. The first skull of P.walkeri was discovered in 1920 and described in 1922 by William Parks; its names means “near Saurolophus” for its similarities to another hadrosaur (Saurolophus).
Interacting with two Cretaceous beasts? Check!
This skin will not be used in the game but was for an indication.