Valley of the Dinosaurs, Argentina
Fast Facts
Paleo & Archeo
Family Travel Tips

Giganotosaurus Carolinii


Photo by Subsecretaria de Turismo de Neuquén

Valley of the Dinosaurs, as the badlands of Argentina are called, is a truly remote family travel destination. So why take the kids? Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes once roamed this corner of western Patagonia. Giganotosaurus carolinii, one of the largest carnivores yet discovered, inhabited the Patagonian steppe during the late Cretaceous Period. Argentinosaurus huinculensis, one of the largest dinosaurs to have walked the earth, lived here a few million years earlier. Titanosaurs passed through long after the previous two. But what makes Valley of the Dinosaurs so spectacular is what's happened in the interim. An eon of doings fossilized prehistoric life and unearthed it again. Museo Carmen Funes, a small natural history museum, is home to the biggest and smallest giants of Patagonia, Argentinosaurus huinculensis and sauropod eggs. The Ernesto Bachmann Museum is all about Giganotosaurus carolinii. Auca Mahuevo, a nesting site for titanosaurs, is littered with dinosaur eggs. Cañadón Escondido is a great place to hunt for dinosaur footprints and steal a look at some really old rock. History is made present at Centro Paleontológico Lago Barreales. More than 400 fossils have been uncovered at this dinosaur dig site!
Titanosaurs may be some of the biggest dinosaurs to have walked the earth yet they are the least understood. This diverse group of sauropod - Argentinosaurus, Paralititan and Saltasaurus are but a few - lived during the Late Cretaceous Period between 90 and 65 million years ago. So what makes this dinosaur family so interesting? The titanosaur thrived when other sauropod went extinct. Paleontologists think this group of sauropod adapted better than their cousins. Some titanosaur species traveled in herds providing a better defense against predators. Female titanosaurs laid their eggs together in an effort to protect their young. What's more, titanosaurs had a slightly different body than earlier species. They had long hind legs, a small, flat skull, and tough, bony plate built into their skin.
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