Chapter

The Northern Provinces

Richard P. Hilton

in Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233157
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928459 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233157.003.0006
The Northern Provinces

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The northern provinces encompass all of California north of the Transverse Ranges, which dissect the state in an east-west fashion just north of the Los Angeles Basin. This chapter deals with the discoveries of Mesozoic reptiles in the Klamath Mountains Province, Sierra Nevada, Great Valley Province, and the Coast Ranges Province. The Klamath Mountains Province is the geological northern extension of the Sierra Nevada. It is in this province where more than two hundred Triassic reptile fossils have been found. The first discovery of reptilian fossils in the Sierra was made in 1954 and the remains were those of a plesiosaur. In the Great Valley Province, a multitude of discoveries has yielded a rich trove of Late Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaurs and marine reptiles. Three specimens of Mesozoic reptile remains from the Coast Range rocks were discovered. Two of them were found in radiolarian cherts: highly contorted, thinly layered beds originally deposited in the deep ocean well offshore from the continent. The third specimen is the first evidence of a Jurassic plesiosaur discovered west of the Rockies. The fossil came from a limestone concretion weathered out of the so-called Franciscan-Knoxville shales.

Keywords: northern provinces; Transverse Ranges; Mesozoic reptiles; Klamath Mountains Province; Sierra Nevada; Great Valley Province; Coast Ranges Province; plesiosaur; radiolarian cherts

Chapter.  29442 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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