Dinosaurs in Arizona

245 million years back, the Arizona landscape was less of a desert and more lush. If we go by the fossils found here, at least 15 different species of dinosaurs (of which some are unidentified) called the state their home. It even included the famed Tyrannosaurus rex! The Dilophosaurus with two prominent head crests found here was made famous by the first Jurassic Park movie.

The Arizona state dinosaur is theherbivorous Sonorasaurus that was 49 ft long, 27 ft tall, and weighed 84,000 pounds. The fossils were found in Cochise County in 1994, and it was the only specimen of this giant brachiosaurid dinosaur to be ever discovered. It became the state dinosaur on April 10, 2018.

Dinosaurs in Arizona

List of Dinosaurs That Lived In Arizona

  • Chindesaurus
  • Coelophysis
  • Dilophosaurus
  • Sarahsaurus
  • Segisaurus
  • Sonorasaurus
  • Tyrannosaurus rex

Places Where the Fossils are Preserved

Unlike the states of the Midwest, Arizona’s dinosaurs left plenty of evidence in the form of bones and footprints. The Tucson Mineral and Gem, and Arizona Museum of Natural History, are places where you can find the fossils on display. You could also visit the Petrified Forest to see the fossils of the early dinosaurs from the Triassic period.

Five miles outside Tuba City, off State Highway 160, you can literally follow the footsteps of the terrible lizards! It is because hundreds of 3-toed tracks possibly made by the horse-sized Dilophosaurus around 3 million years ago dot the desert floor. Part of it is called the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, on the Navajo Nation.