In the Mesozoic era (252.17 66 million.l.m) when the climate on Earth was much warmer, Antarctica was not covered with ice, but with lush vegetation. But since the winters were still cold there, not many dinosaurs lived there.
The first dinosaur in Antarctica was found just 20 years ago, and since then only a few skeletons have been found. It takes a lot of effort to extract a fossil from the ice. Expeditions to Antarctica cost a lot of money. Ships, planes and helicopters are needed to deliver people and equipment there. At the end of summer, absolutely everything has to be taken home. Even waste.
Today Antarctica is a huge continent lying at the South Pole. In the Triassic and Jurassic periods, Antarctica was connected to Africa and was located closer to the north. Dinosaurs may have lived there in the summer, but the winters were probably cold and they migrated north to Africa.
Glacialisaurus (Glacialisaurus hammeri)
“Frozen Reptile” is a great name for an Antarctic dinosaur, but this early Jurassic animal didn’t live in ice. Only a few Glacialisaurus bones have been found on Mount Kirkpatrick, but they suggest it is a prosauropod related to Lufengosaurus from China.
Cryolophosaurus (Cryolophosaurus ellioti)
The first Antarctic dinosaur was also given a very spectacular name Cryolophosaurus. This theropod had an unimaginable bone crest on its forehead in front of its eyes. It was probably brightly colored and used to signal. This carnivorous dinosaur was thought to be related to Dilophosaurus.
The length of the animal reached 6-8 meters, it is the largest Early Jurassic predator. The lizard hunted prosauropods similar to Plateosaurus. In those years, there was no ice in Antarctica, but in winter it could even snow for a short time. Therefore, it is sometimes assumed that Cryolophosaurus could have had plumage.
Other early Jurassic fossils have been found in Antarctica, including fragments of a pterosaur and some other dinosaurs, as well as tree trunks and other plants. One of the most unusual finds is tritylodontids, known from just one tooth. Tritylodontids were the closest relatives of mammals, they fed on tough vegetation, grinding it with large teeth.