The Jura Mountains

In geology, where does the Jurassic period get its name?

And the answer: a mountain range.

Photo credit: Tom Corser, 2004. 

Located along the border of France and Switzerland, the Jura mountain range is where many fossils of marine and terrestrial dinosaurs have been found. The region's limestone strata has provided scientists with important information about Earth's geological history.

The Jura mountain region, near the village of Courtedoux, has been a great source of fossils in recent years. Among the finds are more than 14,000 dinosaur footprints, many of which belong to herbivores, and others to what is thought could be the Tyrannosaurus Rex. In 2009, massive footprints were discovered near the mountains and believed to have been those of sauropod dinosaurs, the gentle herbivorous giants which roamed the region about 150 million years ago.

During the Jurassic period, dinosaurs were making their mark quite literally on the then-tropical Earth. At this time, these ancient reptiles were massive, and dominated all life on land. From the giant Brachiosaurus to the Diplodocus, dinosaurs carved a path that is being read in archaeological finds even today.

While the Jura mountains are home to some of the first significant discoveries in dinosaur fossilization, dino fossils have been found throughout the world. Though, each discovery is significant: every footprint, bone, egg or feather helps piece together the puzzle of life before recorded time. Check out this article to see the latest archaeological find in the Jura mountain region.

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