The Nutcracker Croc of Cretaceous Texas
The Arlington Archosaur Site doesn’t fit the traditional vision of a remote fossil deposit situated in rocky, windswept badlands. Rich in turtle, crocodile, fish, and dinosaur remains, the assemblage is within walking distance of a Starbucks in the Arlington, Texas, metro area. But those fossils tell of a very different time — a snapshot of life roughly 95 million years ago, when Texas was on the coast of a warm, shallow seaway that cleft North America in two.
According to University of Wisconsin-Parkside paleontologist Chris Noto, one of the researchers who has been carefully picking over the site, this place “was probably very similar in overall appearance to the Florida Everglades.” But the Cretaceous fauna was significantly different. While turtles