Three artifacts from the pre-Columbian period in South America suggest that the Andes Mountains might not have been a great place to hang out in a meat suit. Each of the three artifacts that we will examine on this page, we believe, represent fearsome, bi-pedal, meat eating dinosaurs. These include tyrannosaurus rex, ceratosaurus, giganotosaurus, and Mapusaurus.
Our first representation is of a tyrannosaurus dinosaur having an unfortunate interaction with a South American, as pictured on one of the Ica stones. These artifacts have been known for more than 500 years. The city of Ica, Peru, where more than 30,000 of these artifacts have been found is 50 kilometers from the coast and proximate to the Andes Mountains.
The second artifact is Mayan, from the central area of the Andes mountains and, as seen in two views here, seems also to represent a theropod dinosaur*.
The third piece is from the south central Andes mountains and like the second artifact clearly may represent a theropod dinosaur. However, like the second artifact it appears to have a head crest, thought to be a rarity on theropod dinosaurs.
Having reached the tentative conclusion that these pieces (which have been previously seen on these pages) most likely represented tyrannosaurids or at least theropod dinosaurs, we set out to determine whether meat eating dinos like tyrannosaurus had been found in or near the Andes Mountains, and whether or not there was evidence that some theropods had crests on their snouts ..
*Earlier this year, Guanlong wucaii, the crowned dragon from the five-coloured rocks, was discovered in Late Jurassic strata in Chinas Junggar Basin. Supposedly 160,000,000 years old, it was said to be an ancestor to t-rex. . the most unusual feature of this new tyrannosaur is its snout.
All tyrannosaurs have some form of decoration on top of their noses, although they typically limit their ornamentation to a tasteful roughened texture or small row of hornlets. Guanlong, on the other hand, flaunted its familys conventions and sported a spectacular crest, thin as a tortilla and riddled with holes.
Also, a dinosaur trackway, the most extensive in the world was found in the Andes Mountains in Bolivia in 1996 and included tracks of a tyrannosaurus among many other dinosaurs.
Two meat eating theropod dinosaurs that were even larger than t-rex have been found in the Andes Mountains as well; giganotosaurus, and Mapusaurus.
We believe that these pieces represent theropod dinosaurs and so, we tried to provide some tentative identifications. By the way, our personal view is that prior to the flood larger versions of many animals, including dinosaurs lived in the near perfect environment which existed at that time. The tyrannosaurids and other dinosaurs who lived after the flood, were, we believe, much smaller versions. The thesis we're presenting on this page is that these three pieces represent types of meat eating dinosaurs.
On the left is a depiction of a tyrannosaur (in our opinion)which appears on one of the Ica Stones, from Ica, Peru, a group of more than 30,000 pre-columbian artifacts that depict man and dinosaur interactions and other extraordinary scenes.
Center: Effigy figure from the Popol Voh Museum, identified as a panther and a crocodile.
Right, A Mayan "dragon" from the South Central, Andes Mountains. Click and Drag Photo to resize.
Mapusaurus ('earth lizard') was a giant carnosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now Argentina.
It was similar in size to its close relative Giganotosaurus, measuring approximately 12.5 meters (41 ft) in length and weighing around 5 tons.
Mapusaurus was excavated between 1997 and 2001, by the Argentian-Canadian Dinosaur Project, from an exposure of the Huincul Formation (Rio Limay Group, Cenomanian) at Canadon de Gato, from a bone bed containing at least seven individuals of various ontogenetic stages.
Coria and Currie (2006) speculate that this may represent a long term, possibly coincidental accumulation of carcasses (some sort of predator trap) and may provide clues about Mapusaurus behavior.
Other known theropod bone beds include the Allosaurus-dominated Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry of Utah, an Albertosaurus bone bed from Alberta and a Daspletosaurus bone bed from Montana. Paleontologist Rodolfo Coria, of the Museo Carmen Funes, contradicting his own article, repeated in a press-conference earlier suggestions that this congregation of fossil bones may indicate that Mapusaurus hunted in groups and worked together to take down large prey, such as the immense sauropod Argentinosaurus (AP 2006).
If so, this would be the first substantive evidence of gregarious behavior by large theropods other than Tyrannosaurus, although whether they might have hunted in organized packs (as wolves do) or simply attacked in a mob, is unknown.
The depositional environment of the Huincul Formation at the Canadon de Gato locality is interpreted as a freshwater paleochannel deposit, "laid down by an ephemeral or seasonal stream in a region with arid or semi-arid climate" (Coria and Currie, 2006: 109). This bone bed is especially interesting, in light of the overall scarcity of fossilized bone within the Huincul Formation.
The big news lately is the largest group of dinosaur trackways found in the Andes mountains in Bolivia, South America (near the town of Sucre).
Although they were found in1996, they were just in the news a few days ago, and the analysis of the trackways has barey begun.
There are hundreds of tracks that date from the late Cretaceous period, and include a lot of large sauropods, ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, Tyrannosaursus rex, Triceratops, and other as yet unidentified dinosaur. The tracks are up to 3 feet (1 m) long.
Compare the crest feature on two of the Andes artifacts (one with a new side view) with each other and against the skull of ceratosaurus, a fierce, meat eating bi-pedal theropod. Click and Drag Photo to resize.
So far, the most surprising result is that the ankylosaurs were apparently travelling at a pretty fast rate, which is not what was expected, given their massive bodies, heavy armor covering, and stubby legs.
Other ankylosaur trackways (there are only about a dozen worldwide) show slow locomotion, but these Bolivian ankylosaurs were relatively speedy, as were the sauropods.
The Swiss paleontologist Christian Meyer, who has been working at the site for a few months, says, "There is no comparable site in the world." The site covers 25,000 square meters in a limestone quarry, and parts of the track are at angles up to 70° from horizontal.
The tracks were made on an ancient lakebed that had been pushed up along with the Andes mountains. The trackways are 440 miles (700 km) south of La Paz, Bolivia and are at an altitude of 900 miles (2,800 meters). Other fossils have been found at the site, including crocodiles, fish, and turtles.
Comparison of an Andes artifact with a tyrannosaurus skull and an artists conception of a ceratosaurus. Click and Drag Photo to resize.
Comparison of Andes artifacts with ceratosaurus. Click and Drag Photo to resize.