Plants and dinosaurs were well connected in ancient times in our mid – region of the now United States. Fossil evidence shows us that dinosaurs ate plants or dined on plant-eaters.
Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska, has an exhibit that shows realistic dinosaurs and living plants they likely ate. “Dinosaur UpROAR” exhibit, until May 12th, is featured with special programs on the Lauritzen Gardens website. Here are some plants and dinosaurs you might see.
A realistic Syntarous dinosaur of the Cretaceous Period is a carnivore that stood about 2.5 feet tall and 7 feet in length and is displayed with living palms that date back to that period. Fossil remains of the Syntarous have been found in both Arizona and Africa.
These are examples of plants at the Lauritzen Gardens exhibit that also were found in the Cretaceous Period of dinosaurs and are recognizable plants today. Examples include croton, lily, agave or century plant, rhubarb and staghorn fern.
Southeast Nebraska Rose Creek flower fossils are rare because flower parts are often too delicate to be preserved as fossils. Nebraska fossils are on loan with the Lauritzen Gardens exhibit, including this sample that includes leaves from Cretaceous Period.
For more information about the realistic dinosaurs, plants of ancient times and fossil evidence, see the recent article published in the Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper:
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I would not have guessed that the Bismarkia palm would have been around that long ago. The croton would have been green. Variegated forms were only selected for modern horticulture. That rhubarb is what we know here as gunnera or Chilean rhubarb.