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Santana Formation

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Template:Dinoseries

File:727px-Cretaceous Orthoptera fossil.jpg


The Santana Formation is where the beginning of Giant of the Skies took place.

FactsEdit

The Santana Formation is a geologic Lagerstätte (undisturbed fossil accumulation) in northeastern Brazil's Araripe Basin where the states of Pernambuco, Piauí and Ceará come together. The geological formation, named after the village of Santana do Cariri, lies at the base of the Araripe Plateau. It was discovered by Johann Baptist von Spix in 1819. The strata were laid down during the early Cretaceous, specifically during the early Cenomanian, about 92 MYA, in a shallow inland sea. At that time, the South Atlantic was opening up in a long narrow shallow sea.

The Santana Formation earns the designation of Lagerstätte due to an exceedingly well preserved and diverse fossil faunal assemblage. Some 25 species of fossil fishes are often found with stomach contents preserved, enabling paleontologists to study predator-prey relationships in this ecosystem. There are also fine examples of pterosaurs, reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates (particularly insects), and plants. Even dinosaurs are represented: a new maniraptor was described in 1996. The unusual taphonomy of the site resulted in limestone accretions that formed nodules around dead organisms, preserving even soft parts of their anatomy. In preservation, the nodules are etched away with acid, and the fossils often prepared by the transfer technique.

Local mining activities for cement and construction damage the sites. Trade in illegally-collected fossils has sprung up in the last decade, driven by the remarkable state of preservation and beauty of these fossils and amounting to a considerable local industry. An urgent preservation program is being called for by paleontologists.

Animals in the seriesEdit

Ornithocheirus (Tropegnathus)

Tapejara (Tupandactylus)

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