In late Jurassic times the break up of Pangaea was well under way. (dinosaur equipment)A huge embayment, known as the Tethys Sea, separared the continent of Europe and Asia from the landmasses of the south; those that became Africa, South America and Australia.
Along the northern flanks of the Tethys a deep-water reef developed, formed from sponges. (dinosaur manufacturers)The remains of this reef can be found today in rocks from Spain to Romania. As the reef grew, and as continental movements raised the sea floor, the reef approached the surface where the deep-water sponges died. The reef growth was continued by corals building on the sponge-formed structures. The reefs reached the surface where they cut off lagoons between the deep Tethys waters and the shoreline of the continent to the north. Debris from the reefs filled the lagoons and the water became shallow.(playground dinosaur equipment) The heat of the sun evaporated the water from these shallows, and salt and other minerals settled on the lagoon floor. The water was constantly replenished from the ocean beyond the reefs, but the lower layer of the lagoon water became poisonous with the concentration of minerals. Any fish that swam in it died and sank to the bottom. Any arthropod that crawled in was poisoned and died. The bodies lay undisturbed as the water was poisonous for scavengers too.
Islands were scattered across the lagoons which, with the arid shoreline, were formed from the stumps of the sponge reefs that had emerged from the water as the land rose.(dinosaur exhibit manufacturers) The animals of these dry lands consisted of pterosaurs, the first-known bird Archaeopteryx little lizards and small dinosaurs, such as the chicken-sized thcrojxd Contpsognatbus. All of these animals have been found as articulated skeletons in the deposits formed in the lagoons.