dinosaurs

Go Back In Time! What Was Prehistoric Maryland Like?

Eva Niessner

Go Back In Time! What Was Prehistoric Maryland Like?

You've probably seen some pictures or heard some stories about what Maryland was like before you lived here or before you were born. Maybe your grandparents showed you some snapshots of Baltimore back in the day, or maybe you've studied your hometown's history. But we bet you haven't stopped to think about what Maryland was like millions of years ago!

If you were to hop in a time machine, you would probably be amazed to find that your hometown here in MD was probably underwater! The warm shallow sea covered our state about 538 million years ago, and when it didn't, the environment was still hot and humid -- perfect for plants to grow.

Of course, one of the most exciting creatures to call Maryland home was the prehistoric shark. If you've ever been to Calvert Cliffs, you might have seen evidence of these fearsome creatures. Their teeth can still be found in the sands and waters of the state park to this day, so if you're lucky, you might find a little gift from the past. The area was even home to the mighty megalodon!

Another creature from Maryland's prehistoric past was astrodon johnstoni, a long-necked herbivore that looks a lot like a brontosaurus. Its teeth were first found in Prince George's County back in the 1850's, making the discovery the earliest dinosaur fossils unearthed in Maryland. It's no wonder this magnificent beast was named Maryland's state dino!

Other dinosaurs could be found roaming Maryland, too. Most of the dinosaurs that can now be unearthed in our state lie in the central region, and they include the anklyosaur and the allosaurus. Preserved dinosaur footprints can even be found in Frederick County, near Emmitsburg.

Could you find a fossil in your own backyard here in Maryland? It's not as far-fetched as it might seem. Maybe you'll stumble upon a discovery of your own -- a reminder of your home state's distant past, and the creatures that loved it just as much as you do.

 

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