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Nearly every modern country in Europe has been the final resting place of dinosaur species. These range from huge predators such as the Allosaur, down to tiny creatures which lived on an insect diet. Germany was where Archaeopteryx left its feathery impression on a layer of slate. To this day, there are arguments about whether it glided from tree to tree, or flapped its wings and flew. Until the question is settled, some experts class it as a dinosaur, some as an early bird.

Europe was home to old toyshop friends such as the Stegosaurus. Discoveries in Romania were mainly of small dinosaurs such as the “ostrich-headed” armoured Sruthiosaurus, only seven feet long, with defensive plates on its back. German paleontologists were very active in describing and naming creatures such as the four-pound chicken-like Procompsognathus, and Dolichosuchus, which resembled a modern crocodile.

England claims the honor of discovering one of the very first dinosaurs, from the early Triassic. This was Thecodontosaurus, found in 1834, eight years before then word “dinosaur” was invented. The small French fossil known as Lophostropheus dates back to the Triassic extinction, and some experts think it may have survived the world-wide catastrophe.

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