Are there dinosaurs in every country?

My bad then, I assumed that because the Alps are still rising, they must’ve formed later. Consider me embarrassed.

The footprints qualify as a trace fossil, but that bone from a current species is probably not fossilized.

There are no dinosaur fossils from Panama or Costa Rica. Like Iceland, they are made up entirely of volcanic deposits that formed after the Cretaceous.

There are large areas where there are no Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous (the periods when dinosaurs occurred) rocks on the surface. I don’t think these cover entire large countries, however.

Would it be possible that they have fossils of sea dinosaurs (or critters casually considered “dinosaurs” by makers of children’s books and toys)? Or did it form in a way that precludes that being likely?

Iceland is still forming. The rocks that are forming today won’t have any dinosaurs in them, neither did the earliest rocks, 18 million years ago. The same is true of other young locations, such as Hawaii.

There’s a big difference between when the rocks that formed a mountain range were laid down and when they were pushed up by tectonic forces to form mountains. The Alps were pushed up in the last few tens of million years but that wouldn’t stop them having rocks containing fossils from 100m years ago (fossils might be badly distorted though). A mountain range that was pushed up 700m years ago would have eroded so much it would probably just be low hills now.

While it isn’t a fully independent country, I wonder if Greenland might be a vast area where any sedimentary rock is older than the Triassic?

FWIW, What Exit’s map shows 2 Dinosaurian fossil sites in Panama. I’ll list them here.

  1. R. G. Cooke and S. L. Olson. 1984. An archaeological record for the white-faced whistling-duck (Dendrocygna viduata) in central Panama. 86 :493-494
    Me: Erm, that’s a fairly abundant specie currently residing in Africa and South America. Not sure why they cite that.

  2. Miscellaneous unranked taxa of Aves (aka birds) B. J. MacFadden, D. S. Jones, and N. A. Jud, J. W. Moreno, G. S. Morgan, R. W. Portell, V. J. Perez, S. M. Moran, A. R. Wood. 2017. Integrated Chronology, Flora and Faunas, and Paleoecology of the Alajuela Formation, Late Miocene of Panama. 12(1) :e0170300

Colibri: I understand you’re scientist in Central America. Why do you think these sites were listed? Were there ducks swimming around in Jurassic Pond or what?

Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica contain no listings. Gabon, Central African Republic, Somalia, and the South Sudan have no reported fossil sites. Same goes for Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone , Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania. I suspect that some countries have had more exploration than others: I understand war zones aren’t especially popular within the paleontological crowd for example.

Greenland has a number of fossil sites FWIW.

They are records of bird fossils, not non-avian dinosaurs. As I said before, there are no non-avian bird fossils from Panama.

The White-faced Whistling Duck occurred in Panama in the past. That record is of a fossil found in a village refuse pile from about 500 AD. An occasional one has showed up as a stray from South America since.

Actually, there are quite a few dinosaur fossils found in Switzerland. Of course not in the granite rocks of the San Gottardo (Central Alps), but in the Jura mountain range. (which gave the Jurassic era its name), and the Monte San Giorgio ("the diasaur mountain) in the south of Switzerland, which teems with marine fossils Museo dei fossili del Monte San Giorgio

New dinosaur species discovered in Switzerland Notatesseraeraptor frickensis (The site in Frick is known around the world for the density of dinosaur skeletons. )

Triassic park: oldest Swiss dinosaur skeleton found

For a scientific paper, see Dinosaurs of Switzerland

" Until 1960, the record of dinosaurs was rather poor in Switzerland. Between 1960 and 1980, several new localities with plateosaurid remains as well as prosauropod and theropod tracks were found in Late Triassic sabkha and floodplain environments. The discovery of large surfaces with sauropod tracks in the Late Jurassic of the Jura Mountains in 1987 triggered a stream of new data. More than 20 new localities with tracks from both sauropod and theropod dinosaurs in different stratigraphic levels have been found since then. The latest discoveries include trackways of iguanodontids from the Early Cretaceous of the central Swiss Alps and a large Late Jurassic surface with trackways of small sauropods in the northernmost part of the Jura Mountains. The best skeletal record comes from the Late Triassic, with scattered data from the Late Jurassic. The track and trackway record appears to be best in the Late Jurassic."

Greenland’s got plenty of older-than-Triassic fossils. But also cool Triassic ones.