InGen Database Description
The Ischigualasto Formation is situated in the San Juan province in north-western Argentina. The formation spreads across the Ischigualasto Provincial Park and the Talampaya National Park.
The current geography of the Formation resembles the surface of an extraplanetary body, as such it has gained the name “Valley of the Moon" and its original name translates to "Dead Land". The rocky desert of today would have once been a lush floodplain with a wide variety of flora and fauna.
The formation contains some of the best available fossils for the Late Triassic Period, around 230 million years ago. It has produced valuable remains of Cynodonts, Rhynchosaurs and Pseudosuchians giving evidence of the evolution of mammals among other groups. Diverse flora discoveries here have helped fill out our picture of the Triassic ecosystem including many different species of fossilized plants and trees. Some of the earliest Dinosaurs discovered are also found in the Ischigualasto Formation, including the Herrerasaurus, which predates the traditional Saurischian-Ornithischian split in the dinosaur family tree and is a key and sometimes controversial piece in the development of Dinosauria.