31 jul. 2019
Europasaurus was a small sauropod that lived during the Late Jurassic in Europe. Normally, sauropods are known for their huge size, growing up to 25 meters in height, but Europasaurus stood only two meters high at the shoulders. The species is identified as an example of insular dwarfism. During the Late Jurassic, Europe consisted of multiple islands and Europasaurus lived on one of them. Its ancestors emigrated to this island and quickly decreased their size to adapt to the new environment. It is believed that Europasaurus became extinct due to the arrival of new predators. While sea levels were decreasing, larger predators were able to cross the water and invade the island. Footprints of these predators have been found near fossils of Europasaurus.
Europasaurus holgeri fossils were found in 1998 in Northern Germany. Up until 2014, about 20 specimens have been excavated from the quarry based on their jaws.
Sander et al. 2006
Sander, P. M., Mateus, O., Laven, T., & Knötschke, N. (2006). Bone histology indicates insular dwarfism in a new Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur. Nature, 441(7094), 739-741.