Fossils from the Cretaceous have been excavated in Araripe Basin in Brazil. During the Cretaceous, South America was close to Africa. As the two continents moved away from each other, a sea was formed. Miniature carnivorous dinosaurs inhabited the edges of this sea. Since no herbivorous dinosaurs were excavated, it is likely that these carnivorous dinosaurs ate fish. Soon, the sediments found on the seabed became rock. This created the limestone of Santana Formation.
Araripe Basin is located in Northeastern Brazil and is approximately 3,000 square miles or 8,000 square kilometers.
Here are some of the dinosaurs that lived in Araripe Basin:
- Angaturama, a dinosaur with three-fingered hands with hooked claws designed to catch prey. It might be an Irritator specimen, and in this case the name will be retired.
- Irritator, a dinosaur with a long, thin jaw that might have eaten fish. When paleontologists discovered this dinosaur, they found out that the snout was a fake because it was made of bone and car filler.
- Mirischia, a small dinosaur with even smaller arms who hunted lizards.
- Santanaraptor, a 6 1/2 foot or 2 meter dinosaur weighing approximately 65 pounds or 30 kilograms who had small, sharp teeth, fingers containing sharp claws, a tail that was off the ground when in motion, and legs designed for sprinting.
Today, Araripe Basin is home to fertile soil, short thorny trees, cacti, and grass.