Geologic Time Scale: Cretaceous Aptian Stage

(121.4 to 113.0 million years ago)

The Cretaceous Period is the third and final period of the Mesozoic and the longest period of the Phanerozoic Eon. The period as first defined by Belgian geologist Jean d’Omalius d’Halloy in 1822 as the Terrain Cretace, using starta (layers) in the Paris Basin and names for the extensive beds of chalk(calcium carbonate deposited by the shells of marine invertebrates, principally coccoliths), found in the upper Cretaceous of Western Europe. The name is derived from the Latin creta meaning “chalk”, which is abundant in the later half of the period.

During the Cretaceous, the late-Paleozoic-to-early-Mesozoic supercontinent of Pangaea completed its tectonic breakup into the present-day continents, although their positions were substantially different at the time. The Earth’s Climate was warmer than today, and sea level was much higher. The end of the Cretaceous period (along with the Mesozoic) ended with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (formerly known as the KT boundary). 

Aptian Age/Stage

Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

The Aptian is named after the small city of Apt in the Province region of France in 1840 by French paleontologist Alcide d’Orbigny.

North American Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Acrocanthosaurus “High spined lizard”
Classification: Family: Carcharodontosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: USA, Oklahoma, Antlers Formation, and the Texas, Twin Mountains Formation
Size: 11.5 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
 
Genus: Deinonychus “terrible claw”
Classification: Family: Dromaeosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: USA,‭ ‬Antlers Formation and Cloverly Formation
Size: 3.4 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
 
Genus: Gastonia “Gaston’s thing”
Classification: Family: Nodosauridae – Subfamily: Polacanthinae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Albian)
Locality: USA: Utah – Cedar Mountian Formation
Size: 5 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Sauropelta “lizard shield”
Classification: Family: Nodosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: USA: Wyoming and Montana – Cloverly Formation
Size: 5 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Tenontosaurus “Sinew lizard”
Classification: Clade: Iguanodontia
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: Western North America
Size: 6.5 to 8 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Belemnitina
Common name: “Belemnites”
Classification: Superoder: Belemnoidea – Order: Belemnitida
Locality: Worldwide
Time: Late Triassic to End Cretaceous
Common name: Ammonite
Classification: Suborder: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ammonoidae
Locality:
Worldwide
Time range: Devonian to End Cretaceous
Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Axelrodichthys
Classification: Clade: Sarcopterygii – Order: Coelacanthiformes
Known locations: Brazil, North Africa, and Mexico (Aptian to Albian) – Morrocco (Cenomanian) – Madagascar (Coniacian to Santonian) – France (Lower Campanian to lower Maastrichtian),
Time period: Cretaceous (Albian to Santonian)
Size: 1 to 2 meters long (depending on species)
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Iguanodon “Iguana tooth
Classification: Clade: Iguanodontia – Family: Iguanodontidae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian and Cenomanian?)
Locality: Initially associated with Western Europe,‭ ‬attributed remains are now known in Africa,‭ ‬Asia, North America
Size: 10 meters long
Diet: Herbivore

European Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Belemnitina
Common name: “Belemnites”
Classification: Superoder: Belemnoidea – Order: Belemnitida
Locality: Worldwide
Time: Late Triassic to End Cretaceous
Common name: Ammonite
Classification: Suborder: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ammonoidae
Locality:
Worldwide
Time range: Devonian to End Cretaceous
Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Iguanodon “Iguana tooth
Classification: Clade: Iguanodontia – Family: Iguanodontidae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian and Cenomanian?)
Locality: Initially associated with Western Europe,‭ ‬attributed remains are now known in Africa,‭ ‬Asia, North America
Size: 10 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Mantellisaurus “Mantell’s lizard
Classification: Clade: Hadrosauriformes
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian)
Locality: England, Isle of Wight – Wessex Formation
Size: 7 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Name: Anhanguera “Old devil”
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Anhanguera
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Brazil – Santana Formation, Australia, Russia, United Kingdom – Cambridge Greensand
Size: 4.5 m wingspan
Diet: Piscivore

Asian Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Belemnitina
Common name: “Belemnites”
Classification: Superoder: Belemnoidea – Order: Belemnitida
Locality: Worldwide
Time: Late Triassic to End Cretaceous
Common name: Ammonite
Classification: Suborder: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ammonoidae
Locality:
Worldwide
Time range: Devonian to End Cretaceous
Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Name: Anhanguera “Old devil”
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Anhanguera
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Brazil – Santana Formation, Australia, Russia, United Kingdom – Cambridge Greensand
Size: 4.5 m wingspan
Diet: Piscivore
Name: Dsungaripterus “Juuggar basin wing”
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Dsungaripteridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: China – Juuggar Basin
Size: 3 to 3.5 m wingspan
Diet: Shellfish
 
Genus: Wuerhosaurus “Wuerho lizaed”
Classification: Family: Stegosauridae – Subfamily: Stegosaurinae
Time: Cretaceous (Valanginian to Albian)
Locality: China,: ‬Xinjiang‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tugulu Group,‭ ‬Inner Mongolia‭ ‬-‭ ‬Ejinhoro Formation
Size: 5 to 7 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Nanshiungosaurus “Nanshiung lizard”
Classification: Superfamily: Therizinosauroidea
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Campanian)
Locality:  China‭ ‬-‭ ‬Chijinbao Formation,‭ ‬Nanxiong Formation,‭ ‬Yuanpu Formation.
Size: 5 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Xiongguanlong “Xiongguan dragon”
Classification: Superfamily: Tyrannosauroidea
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: China, Gansu Province
Size: 4 to 4.5 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
 
Genus: Siamosaurus 
Classification: Subfamily: Spinosauridae
Time: Early Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian)
Locality: Thailand
Size: Unknown meters long – known for teeth
Diet: Piscivore/Carnivore
Genus: Ichthyovenator “Fish hunter”
Classification: Subfamily: Baryonychinae
Time: Early Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Laos, Savannakhet Province – Gres superieurs Formation
Size: 7.5 to 9 meters long
Diet: Piscivore
 

China: Liaoning Province – Jiufotang Formation, Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Sinotyrannus “Chinese tyrant”
Classification: Superfamily: Proceratosauroidea
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jiufotang Formation
Size: 9 to 10 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Microraptor “small thief”
Classification: Clade: Microraptoria
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jiufotang Formation
Size: 1 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Psittacosaurus “parrot lizard
Classification: Suborder: Ceratopsia – Family: Psittacosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian)
Locality: China, Mongolia, and Russia. Possibly also Thailand
Size: 2 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Name: Guidraco  “ghost dragon‭
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Pteranodontoidea/Ornithocheiridae‭?
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jiufotang Formation
Size: Wingspan uncertain due to lack of remains.‭ ‬Skull is‭ ‬38‭ ‬centimetres long
Diet: Piscivore

China: Liaoning Province – Yixian Formation, Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Yutyrannus “Feathered tyrant”
Classification: Superfamily: Tyrannosauroidea
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: China, Liaoning Province – Yixian Formation
Size: 9 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
 
Genus: Beipiaosaurus “Beipiao lizard”
Classification: Superfamily: Therizinosauroidea
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: China, Liaoning province – Yixian Formation
Size: 2.2 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Sinosauropteryx “Chinese lizard wing”
Classification: Family: Compsognathidae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian)
Locality: China, Liaoning Province – Yixian Formation
Size: 107 centimeters long
Diet: Carnivore
 
Genus: Caudipteryx “tail feather”
Classification: Family: Caudipteridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: China, Liaoning Province – Yixian Formation
Size: 1 meters long
Diet: Omnivore?
 
Genus: Psittacosaurus “parrot lizard
Classification: Suborder: Ceratopsia – Family: Psittacosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian)
Locality: China, Mongolia, and Russia. Possibly also Thailand
Size: 2 meters long
Diet: Herbivore

African Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Suchomimus “Crocodile mimic”
Classification: Subfamily: Baryonychinae
Time: Early Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: Niger – Elhraz Formation
Size: 10 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Eocarcharia Dawn shark‭
Classification: Clade: Carcharodontosauria – Family: Carcharodontosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: Niger‭ ‬-‭ ‬Elrhaz Formation
Size: 6 to 8 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Nigersaurus “lizard from Niger”
Classification: Family: Rebbachisauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian or Albian)
Locality: Africa, Niger, Elrhaz Formation.
Size: 9 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
 
Genus: Ouranosaurus “brave lizard
Classification: Clade: Hadrosauriformes
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Cenomanian)
Locality: Africa,‭ ‬Niger‭ ‬-‭ ‬Echkar Formation. Specimens also known from other locations in Africa
Size: 7 to 8 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Sarcosuchus‭  flesh crocodile
Classification: Order: Crocodylia, Family: Pholidosauridae
Time: Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian to Albian)
Locality:  Africa and South America
Size: 9 to 11 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Belemnitina
Common name: “Belemnites”
Classification: Superoder: Belemnoidea – Order: Belemnitida
Locality: Worldwide
Time: Late Triassic to End Cretaceous
Common name: Ammonite
Classification: Suborder: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ammonoidae
Locality:
Worldwide
Time range: Devonian to End Cretaceous
Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Axelrodichthys
Classification: Clade: Sarcopterygii – Order: Coelacanthiformes
Known locations: Brazil, North Africa, and Mexico (Aptian to Albian) – Morrocco (Cenomanian) – Madagascar (Coniacian to Santonian) – France (Lower Campanian to lower Maastrichtian),
Time period: Cretaceous (Albian to Santonian)
Size: 1 to 2 meters long (depending on species)
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Malawisaurus “Malawi lizard”
Classification: Superfamily: Titanosauroidea – Clade: Lithostrotia
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Africa,‭ ‬Malawi – Dinosaur Beds Formation
Size: 16 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
 

South American Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Belemnitina
Common name: “Belemnites”
Classification: Superoder: Belemnoidea – Order: Belemnitida
Locality: Worldwide
Time: Late Triassic to End Cretaceous
Common name: Ammonite
Classification: Suborder: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ammonoidae
Locality:
Worldwide
Time range: Devonian to End Cretaceous
Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Axelrodichthys
Classification: Clade: Sarcopterygii – Order: Coelacanthiformes
Known locations: Brazil, North Africa, and Mexico (Aptian to Albian) – Morrocco (Cenomanian) – Madagascar (Coniacian to Santonian) – France (Lower Campanian to lower Maastrichtian),
Time period: Cretaceous (Albian to Santonian)
Size: 1 to 2 meters long (depending on species)
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Name: Tropeognathus “Keel jaw”
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Ornithocheiridae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: Brazil – Santana Formation
Size: 8 m wingspan
Diet: Piscivore
 
Name: Anhanguera “Old devil”
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Anhanguera
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Brazil – Santana Formation, Australia, Russia, United Kingdom – Cambridge Greensand
Size: 4.5 m wingspan
Diet: Piscivore
Genus: Sarcosuchus‭  flesh crocodile
Classification: Order: Crocodylia, Family: Pholidosauridae
Time: Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian to Albian)
Locality:  Africa and South America
Size: 9 to 11 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Genyodectes “Jaw biter”
Classification: Family: Ceratosauridae
Time: Early Cretaceous (Aptian/Albian?)
Locality: Argentina‭ ‬-‭ ‬Cerro Barcino Formation,‭ ‬Cerro Castaño Member
Size: Unknown meters long – only partial skull found
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Amargosaurus “Amarga lizard
Classification: Family: Dicraeosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Barremian to Aptian)
Locality: Argentina, Neuquen province – La Amarga Formation
Size: 10 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
 
Genus: Agustinia “Named after Agustin Martinelli, the discoverer
Classification: Superfamily: Diplodocoidea/Titanosauridae?
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: Argentina,‭ ‬Neuquen Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lohan Cura Formation
Size: 15 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
 

Australian Aptian Stage Early Cretaceous: 121.4 to 113.0 million years ago

Genus: Belemnitina
Common name: “Belemnites”
Classification: Superoder: Belemnoidea – Order: Belemnitida
Locality: Worldwide
Time: Late Triassic to End Cretaceous
Common name: Ammonite
Classification: Suborder: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ammonoidae
Locality:
Worldwide
Time range: Devonian to End Cretaceous
Genus: Australiceras
Common Name: Australia Hornstone
Classification: Order: Ammonitida – Suborder: Ancyloceratina
Locatlity: Australia
Time:
Early Cretaceous (Aptian)
Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Name: Kronosaurus ‭ “Kronus lizard‭ ‬-‭ ‬after the king of the Greek Titans‭‭”
Classification: Order: ‬Plesiosauria – Family: Pliosauridae
Size: 9‭ ‬to ‬10‭ ‬meters long.‭ ‬Skull‭ ‬2.7‭ ‬meters long
Known locations: Australia and‭ ‬Colombia
Time period: Early Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Diet: Carnivore
Genus: Australovenator “Southern hunter”
Classification: Family: Neovenatoridae – Clade: Megaraptora
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Australia, Queensland, Winton Formation
Size: 6 meters long
Diet: Carnivore
 
Genus: Minmi ‬After Minmi crossing,‭ ‬Australia‭)”
Classification: Clade: Ankylosauria
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Australia, Minmi crossing
Size: 2 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Leaellynasaura “Leaellyn’s lizard
Classification: Family: Hypsilophodontidae
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian)
Locality: Australia, Victoria
Size: 2 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Genus: Serendipaceratops “serendipitous horned face
Classification: Suborder: Ceratopsia
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Australia – Wonthaggi Formation
Size: 2.3 meters long
Diet: Herbivore
Name: Anhanguera “Old devil”
Classification: Suborder: Pterodactyloidea – Family: Anhanguera
Time: Cretaceous (Aptian)
Locality: Brazil – Santana Formation, Australia, Russia, United Kingdom – Cambridge Greensand
Size: 4.5 m wingspan
Diet: Piscivore

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