Image from page 117 of "Our country: West" (1897)
Title: Our country: West
Publisher: Boston, Mass., P. Mason
Contributing Library: New York Public Library
Digitizing Sponsor: MSN
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ore for the space between the top of the limb andthe ridge of the back, twenty feet is a very moderate estimate. It would be difficult to compare it to any living animal.It was a gigantic lizard, mounted on tall, stout, elephantinelegs, with a long, thick, powerful tail, and a longish, thickneck, tapering to a small, almost serpent-like head, farsmaller than one would expect for so huge a monster. Theskin may have been covered with shining scales. The atlantosaurus appears to have been quiet and harmlessin habit, and dependent mainly upon his vast size for pro-tection against other more formidable kinds. The character I lO DIGGING UP A FOSSIL MONSTER. of the teeth imply that he was herbivorous, and his habitsmay have been somewhat like those of the hippopotamus. As a land animal, he walked proudly among the forests ofthe Jurassic period, or baked and wallowed in the marshesthat then surrounded the young, low-lying Rocky Mountainregion, and stretched down to the sea, where sea-serpents
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Ichthyosaur and Dinosaur. and many strange reptiles held sway in the waters, whilereptilian-like bats and birds flew in the air. On land there were many species of these dinosaurs, someof which we discovered later in Wyoming. Some wereherbivorous and some carnivorous; some walked upon allfours, others hopped along on their long hind legs likekangaroos, and others were very bird-like in appearance DIGGING UP A FOSSIL MONSTER. HI and gait. They were of all sizes, from that of the greatatlantosauri down to lizards no larger than a cat. With these remains we found in Wyoming those of tinymammals, probably the first known, resembling kangaroo rats. The question is sometimes asked, How long ago didthese monsters live ? To this we can give no definiteanswer, further than that it was very long ago — thousands,perhaps millions, of years ago. Some idea of their great agemay be obtained by considering the thickness of rocks thatlie above them. These rocks were slowly and gradually laid down, a
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