"Dinosaurs of Antarctica" features prehistoric creatures that lived during the Permian (298.9 to 251.9 million years ago) Period near the end of the Paleozoic Era as well as during the Triassic (251.9 to 201.3 million years ago), Jurassic (201.3 to 145 million years ago), and Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago) Periods during the Mesozoic Era.



Permian Period - Herbivore 

Lystrosaurus, meaning “shovel lizard,” was neither lizard nor dinosaur. Rather, it was a reptile related to early mammals. About the size of a large pig or dog, it had only a pair of tusk-like teeth and a horny beak for biting and chewing the plants it ate. It is among few species yet found to have survived the mass extinction at the end of the Permian.



Triassic Period - Insectivore 

While typically only about 20 inches in length, this small lizard-like creature’s relatives would evolve into truly formidable sizes and dominate the planet for a hundred million years as crocodiles and dinosaurs. It likely fed on insects which were plentiful during the Triassic. 



Triassic Period - Carnivore

This six-foot amphibian was mostly confined to rivers and lakes as its eggs and tadpoles required water to survive. Fossil remains suggest it had small teeth so it most likely fed on fish and small animals in the water or along its edge. 



Triassic Period - Carnivore 

This sixteen-foot, two-ton reptilian ancestor of both crocodiles and dinosaurs bears a striking and terrifying resemblance to both lineages. It was an effective meat-eating predator as its skull was typically about three feet in length with large jaws and sharp teeth perfect for delivering a deadly bite.



Jurassic Period - Carnivore

This Antarctic meat-eating dinosaur was first found in 1990. It took over two decades and multiple expeditions to remove the huge predator’s remains from the frozen rock of Mount Kirkpatrick in the Transantarctic Mountains. Its name means “frozen crested lizard” due to the distinctive crest above its eyes. It turned out to be the largest known carnivore on earth for its time. Scientists can only speculate about the head crest’s purpose but suspect it may have been used to signal rivals or attract and recognize a mate.



Jurassic Period - Herbivore

Unique to Antarctica, this long-necked, plant-eater is an early cousin of the largest dinosaurs on Earth. While the six-ton adult was capable of running on two legs, smaller juveniles would have been quite vulnerable to predators. Glacialisaurus’ name means “frozen lizard.”



Jurassic Period - Herbivore

An ancestor of early mammals, Tritylodon fossils suggest they may have been burrowers with fur and whiskers and would likely resemble large rodents today. Their shoulders and front limbs were well suited to digging for food and their teeth indicate they were plant-eaters.



Cretaceous Period - Herbivore 

By the end of the Cretaceous, dinosaurs, especially long-necked plant-eaters, had reached colossal proportions. Scientists believe that Titanosaurs ranged across Gondwana, including the land that would become Antarctica. The largest animal ever to walk the planet, it would be among the last dinosaurs on Earth.