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Dima02

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« on: May 13, 2010, 08:24:45 pm »
Hey, guys,

As some of you might know, I'm working on a LBT fanfic involving time traveling, and I was wondering if any of you guys have any speculation regarding the location of the Great Valley.

For me, I believe that the Great Valley is really just Ashley Valley, in Uintah County, Utah. Like the Great Valley, Ashley Valley is a lush green valley surrounded by mountains. There are three (and before human intervention, five) waterways running through it, and there are two big lakes. The Ashely Valley also contains the nearby villages of Vernal, Jensen, and Maeser. There are at least three state parks in the region, and the National Dinosaur Monument is nearby. According to fossil records, this place was home to many dinosaurs in the Jurassic and early Cretaceous period. Because most of the species in LBT can be found in the Southwestern United States, this is one of the most likely candidates for the location of the Great Valley. Secondly, this valley, in the early Cretaceous period, the Western Interior Seaway would have been close by. This could be the "Big Water." Also, the place seems like a place where it would be reasonable to receive snow sometimes, but no all the time.

Also, the size of the valley seems reasonable for the population. It is also surrounded by mountains (Uintah Mountains, Split Mountain, etc). Although there are some "oases" in the surrounding areas, most of the surrounding area is pretty dry. Here's a pic of the valley. Notice the large river at the right and the lake in the upper left corner.


It also struck me how a lot of the locations actually resemble LBT locations. Take a look at the following picture:



and compare it to this one:


(btw: Thanks Malte for the above pic)

If you look carefully, they sort of resemble each other. If you look to the right side of the first pic, you can see a river. If the distance, you can see a waterfall.

Here's another pic:


I'll explain:
1: Real-life picture of Ashley valley. It's nothing short of magnificent.
2: Picture form Google Earth. It looks like a beautiful place to live.
3: In the nearby town of Vernal, dinosaurs are celebrated figures, as shown by this sign.
4: The National Dinosaur Monument is located not far away from the valley and is a popular tourist destination.

Anyways, the above are just my thoughts :p. Feel free to voice the possible locations of the Great Valley in the responses. I do not believe that the two places actually called "The Great Valley" in NY and PA are likely candidates. I live in the "Great Valley" in PA. Although it is a beautiful place to live, there are just way too many trees and not enough rivers :p

Caustizer

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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 08:47:41 pm »
Indeed, Ashley valley looks just like the Great Valley looks.  Good find Dima.

Malte279

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 05:38:06 am »
Those pictures really do resemble each other a bit :yes
The Great Valley resists any absolutely certain locating on our planet due to the fact that the inhabitants not only lived in differed eras but in some cases also on different continents, but this valley may be one of the closest we will get in our world.

Kor

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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 03:47:53 pm »
It is certainly possible that could be either the valley or one of the places Doc mentioned in the 6th movie that are as nice.

Almaron

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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 05:12:41 pm »
I agree; I always thought the Great Valley was somewhere in the US, mainly because most of the GOF dinosaurs could be found in North America (Triceratops was only found there, so that also kind of cements it). Plus, it's got a large mountain range that runs North-South (the Rocky Mountains).

Even though some of the LBT dinosaurs did never meet in real life, being separated by both time (Jurassic/Cretaceous) and different continents, we can take advantage of the fact that Fossil records will never be able to record when a species died out (there's a term for this, but I can't remember it at the moment), and so you could use that as an excuse for how all these dinosaurs from different eras are all in the same place.

Another thing is that North America and Asia were connected by a land bridge at this point, so both Saurolophus and Oviraptor species could have migrated to the Great Valley.

Malte279

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 08:12:47 pm »
There is no place (though North America held most of the kinds) that held all of the species we see in the movies. Tsintaosaurus for example (seen in LBT 6) was only ever found in Asia. In any case it is more about the fun trying to approach LBT in a "scientific" manner.

Pangaea

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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2010, 12:33:37 am »
Tsintaosaurus? Don't you mean Lambeosaurus? Tsintaosaurus had a single, straight, unicorn horn-like crest on its forehead, and it hasn't appeared in LBT. There were multiple species of Lambeosaurus with different crest shapes, but the one appearing in LBT XI and onward is based on L. lambei, which had a squarish, forward-angled crest with a short, backward-angled prong in back. Here's the skull.

And for the record, Lambeosaurus IS known from North America (as well as Asia). However, you are right that there are dinosaur species in LBT that have never been found in North America, and probably could not have even traveled there by land bridge. For instance, Ouranosaurus (the sail-backed leafeater that first appears in XI) has only been found in northern Africa, and probably could not have traveled to North America due to Africa and the other southern continents being isolated from the northern continents during the late Mesozoic.

Still, this is a very fun and interesting idea. I personally thought your explanation was quite plausible, Dima. :yes The issue of dinosaur ranges aside, one problem I do see is that the Western Interior Seaway was located EAST of Utah: the direction that the dinosaurs traveled from to reach the Great Valley in the first movie.



Pronounced "pan-JEE-uh". Spelled with three A's. Represented by a Lystrosaurus.

Dima02

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 09:00:26 pm »
Quote from: Pangaea,May 14 2010 on  11:33 PM
...one problem I do see is that the Western Interior Seaway was located EAST of Utah: the direction that the dinosaurs traveled from to reach the Great Valley in the first movie.
Oops, for some reason, I always seem to get the two mixed up.  :p

Anyways, I just learned that before the Western Interior Seaway was formed by the combining of two separate water bodies, the Mowry Sea and Tethys Sea, which connected in the late Cretaceous period. Is it plausible that the  story occurred in the early Cretaceous period, before the formation of the Western Interior Seaway?

Here is a picture of the Mowry Sea:


Also, just wondering, do any of you have any suggestions as to where the Great Valley is located?

Rat_lady7

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 11:41:58 pm »
You know, for some reason I always thought the Great Valley would be where present day Africa is. I mean sure, we could use geology to guess what the Earth was like millions of years ago, but I think it's just a matter of guessing. :p

If Pangaea was one giant land mass, I would think the Great Valley would be more in the center of that land mass. I'm not sure why...it's just guessing.

Cancerian Tiger

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 01:28:22 am »
I currently live/intern in Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming, and have gone through some intensive interpretation training over these past two weeks.  Anyhoo, when I was taught the history of this area, it is true the entire area was at one time covered by a seaway.  There have been many late Cretaceous Period marine fossils found in the mountains of this area.  Wyoming is just north of Utah, so this would mean that the areas north of Utah were covered by a seaway at one time.  Just thought I'd put that out there ;).

Also, threehorn fossils have only been discovered in western America and the Alberta Province of Canada.  So, we can at least be sure the Great Valley was located somewhere in the western part of North America.

MrDrake

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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 01:32:57 am »
To me, that picture you posted above the screenshot looks to be a good one.  The one of Google Earth....wherever that one is.

If it's America...or anywhere other than New Zealand,t hen I wouldn't have a clue on the place :blink:

LBTDiclonius

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2010, 11:22:31 pm »
I actually see quite a resemblence there. The pics and the Great Valley do look a lot alike. :^.^:

DarkHououmon

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2010, 12:20:04 am »
Yeah they do look similar. I could see Ashley Valley as being an inspiration for the design of the Great Valley, though not necessarily the location. Back then, the land masses looked different. It's possible that there wasn't even a valley back when the dinosaurs were around.

Dima02

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2011, 03:28:51 pm »
Wow, it's been so long since I've posted here. I've almost forgotten about this thread. In any case, the entire purpose of my research was to add realism to my fanfiction. Now that I've posted my work on fanfiction.net, I can share my research here. There is a large section devoted to this research, but I'll post it here for convience purposes:

Nearly 140 million ears ago, the Earth was a different, yet similar place. Much like today, all kinds of creatures roamed the Earth, and it was rife with life. Some of these creatures found comfort, some found hardship, but most extraordinarily, some found companions.

No where was this more true than an area we now know as Northeastern Utah, in the United States of America. Even over the course of 140 million years, the geography of the region has changed extraordinarily little. The Great Valley, known today as Ashley Valley, is still a cloister of lush trees and green grass. The air is still filled with the laughter of children playing in the grass, and it still resembles a true paradise on Earth. If Littlefoot and his friends can visit the valley today, they would surely be able to recognize it.

The northern parts of the valley have gone through a more drastic change than the other parts. The valley today considerably is smaller than what it was 140 million years ago, with Buckskin Hills now filling up the northern portion of the valley. The most drastic change is probably the water. A long time ago, the lakes we now know as Steinaker Reservoir and Red Fleet Reservoir were connected to each other. At the current location of Red Fleet Dam, Thundering Falls once stood. Water from Thundering Falls flowed eleven miles south to meet up with another river, one we now know as Green River, before flowing further south into the distance. However, the river that flowed from Thundering Falls to Green River, the one that has been delivering water to the valley for hundreds of years, has largely dried up. Only two small creeks named Brush Creek and Ashley Creek remains today, but they’re still worthy memorabilias to the great river that once flowed through the valley.

The valley is still home to many different creatures, and quite a few can trace their lineage to Skip, Milo, Lydia, Plower, and the colony of underground mammals that Spike once fell in. The stories of the dinosaurs will live on in the stories that were passed down from millions of generations earlier. The dinosaurs are as active in their memories just as they were 140 million years ago. For the humans in the valley, they still get to enjoy the tracks and fossils that these mighty creatures made.

The northern parts contained the most of the waterways. This part of the valley, receiving the largest amount of water, was also the lushest and loveliest. It was the location of Littlefoot’s nesting place and the Cave of Many Voices. However, this lovely landscape can not be seen anymore. The relentless movement of Earth’s crust caused an earthquake that pushed this land upwards. The lush vegetation and waterways have disappeared due to these changes, leaving behind only a barren mountain that looks nothing like it did 140 million years ago.

As for the mountains protecting the Great Valley, very little has changed. Even millions of years of corrosion have somehow failed to abate these titanic mountains. Made of solid quartzite, shale, and slate, these magnificent mountains, formed in the Paleozoic Era, still stand tall and defiantly today. And for thousands of years, these mountains, rising 600 feet, have protected the inhabitants of the valley from outside invaders. In fact, Ashley Valley would not be discovered until 1776 and would not be thoroughly explored until the arrival of General W.H. Ashley in the 19th century.

The southern, western, and eastern parts, in comparison, have changed very little. The eastern parts were more fertile and green then they are today, but changes in the southern and western parts are negligible. The place where Littlefoot and his friends first entered the Great Valley can still be visited. Today, this entrance is near Split Mountain, and some lucky hikers today still get the chance to enjoy the same view that Littlefoot and his friends did more than 140 million years ago.

The fossilized remains of the original Sharptooth can still be found in the buried under the waters of the Green River, just waiting to be found by the paleontologists who prowl this region. Hanging Rock, Black Rock, and Ruby’s Thinking Place have├│extraordinary├│remained almost unchanged. The Secret Caverns, known today as the Big Bush Creek Cave, is now the second-largest cave in Utah. Deeper parts of the cave are off-limits due to obstacles like logs and rocks, but deep inside, the Cave of Many Voices still remains. Whereas shouts of joy once echoed through its corridors, now, there’s only a deathly silence.

Littlefoot and his friends lived in the early Cretaceous period. The Big Water, which is now known as Mowry Sea, is no longer existent. However, many legacies live on. Littlefoot’s birthplace, near Dodge City, Kansas, although not marked by any structure, can still be visited. The canyon that separated the families in the Great Earthshake can still be seen in Colorado. After the lava cooled, a river, known today as the Cucharas River, cut its way through that canyon. Some parts of the canyon have withered away, but the half-mile wide and 400 feet deep gap that separated Littlefoot and his friends from their parents can still be seen near a place called Cedarwood, Colorado. Today, Littlefoot’s bold and epic 880 mile journey to the Great Valley has been shortened to just 690 miles. Their epic journey will be covered more in the next chapter.

The “neck” of Saurus Rock collapsed in an earthquake, but the base still stands today. By some almost divine coincidence, this is the current location of the National Dinosaur Monument. Doc would have been proud…

Less than 35 miles north of the Great Valley, across many mountains and forests, was the location of the Land of Mists. Located near a town we now know as Dutch John, the Land of Mists has gone through a more noticeable change. The mists have disappeared, and the Night Flower, along with many of its dangerous residents, are now gone. The Mowry Sea, the predecessor to the Western Interior Seaway, was only a few miles from the Land of Mists, but neither the sea nor the seaway exists today. The swamps and ponds have been replaced by the Flaming Gorge reservoir. The trees once there now are now replaced the Ashley National Forest. The only things that have remained unchanged are the mountains surrounding this land.

In this same location more than 140 million years ago, a hungry ichthyornis (sharpbeak), an early carnivorous bird, prepared for landing. It spread out its wings and landed softly on the back of a deinosuchus (bellydragger), an early crocodile...

Like I promised, I'll go into more of the journey later. But for right now, please comment and read my story. Thanks! (now... I have to go back to cramming for APs and SATs..  :( )

pokeplayer984

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2011, 06:59:55 pm »
You know, never in my whole life would I have guessed that "The Great Valley" was possibly inspired by a location in my own home state.

I'm going to have to seriously take my family there one day.  I know my Dad would absolutely love it! (He's an outdoors-man to the end.)

Also, they would NEVER guess the reason for me wanting to go there.  Once I tell them, they'll just be floored by it. :)

Dima02

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2011, 08:30:40 pm »
Quote from: pokeplayer984,Apr 24 2011 on  05:59 PM
You know, never in my whole life would I have guessed that "The Great Valley" was possibly inspired by a location in my own home state.

I'm going to have to seriously take my family there one day.  I know my Dad would absolutely love it! (He's an outdoors-man to the end.)

Also, they would NEVER guess the reason for me wanting to go there.  Once I tell them, they'll just be floored by it. :)
As it turns out, that place is also a very popular tourist and camping location. I might visit that place myself one day, but unfortunately, I live in PA.

Malte279

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2011, 04:17:31 am »
These are interesting and funny coincidences, but keep in mind that coincidences they are. It is not like the land before time was a historical novel or something ;)
Also keep in mind that there hadn't been any plans whatsoever for any sequel with any more detailed landmarks of the Great Valley at the time the original movie was made.

Dima02

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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2012, 04:23:56 pm »
Well, I was just doing my AP US History notes when I read something about this place. Here's the excerpt:

Quote
Echo Park is a spectacular valley in the Dinosaur National Monument, on the border between Utah and Colorado, near the southern border of Wyoming. IN the early 1950s, the Bureau of Reclamation--which had been created early in the century to encourage irrigation, develop electric power, and increase water supplies--proposed building a dam across the Green River, which runs through Echo Valley, so as to create a lake for recreation and a source of hydroelectric power. The American environmental movement had been relatively quiet quiet since its searing defeat early in the century in its effort to stop a similar dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley at Yosemite National Park. But the Echo Park proposal helped rouse it from its slumber.

In 1950, Bernard DeVoto--a well-known writer and a great champion of the American West--published an essay in The Saturday Evening Post entitled "Shall We Let Them Ruin Our National Parks?" It had a sensational impact, arousing opposition to the Echo Valley dam from many areas of the country, The Sierra Club, relatively obscure in the previous decades, was roused into action... By the mid-1950s, a large coalition of environmentalists, naturalists, and wilderness vacationers had been mobilized in opposition to the dam, and in 1956 Congress--bowing to the public pressure--blocked the project and preserved Echo Park in its natural state.

Pretty cool, huh! The Green River is the river you see running through the center of the first photo. Here's a more up-close photo.

Nothing short of magnificent, no? This would have made the Western barriers of the Great Valley.

And no, I don't believe that the Great Valley actually exists or is actually based on this place. It's just something interesting for fanfic writers, readers, and naturalists. It's just something interesting I've found--nothing more.

(Btw, I just visited the Smithsonian Aviation Institute with my marching band. It was pretty awesome. My friend and I were basically serving as tour guides for everyone. There are a few particular planes that I'm planning on using in my fanfic, and I was absolutely delighted to see them up close. They even have a ME-163 Komet! Can you believe it? Too bad they didn't have any IL-2s or Mosquitoes (or a P-38 with a 20mm cannon for that matter...). Those were my favorites.)

Bruton the Iguanodon

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Possible Locations of the Great Valley
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2012, 05:17:56 pm »
Beautiful place---I'll have to go visit it someday.  :)

Ghostfishe

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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2012, 07:15:44 pm »
Actually, Saurolophus is already known to have lived in North America. AFAIK Lambeosaurus is strictly American, though--I've never heard of it being found in Asia.

I've thought about this many times. Even excluding geological differences that would have to have existed, Utah in general is a great match for the kind of landscape we see in the movies.

My pet theory for a while was that the Great Valley was in Mexico--they don't have the best fossil record, but I've heard of brachiosaur and Monoclonius fossils in Maastrichtian(!) sediments, suggesting a sort of "Lost World" esque thing was going on there. But I'm pretty sure Mexico used to be mostly underwater, with part of it serving as an island...

Maybe then-island Mexico was actually "Sharptooth Island"--that would put the Great Valley in the southwest United States...


In any case, the kinds of dinosaurs aren't all from the same continent. Probably. There is a way to shoehorn them in, depending on which dinosaurs they actually are, and I'm not sure how many are identified by name.

Yes, a lot are definitely North American dinosaurs--Lambeosaurus, Triceratops, Struthiomimus, Stegosaurus, etc. Some aren't exclusively North American but could be, like Saurolophus.

Others are "obviously" not North American, but do have close relatives there--which makes me wonder how many have canon identifications and how many were identified by fans, because a good number of them could be explained away as just being different kinds of dinosaur. Guido (Microraptor?) could actually be a Koparion or Palaeopteryx, the Yellow-Bellies (Beipiaosaurus?) could be Nothronychus or Falcarius. "Stegosaurus longispinus" is said by some to be an American species of Kentrosaurus, and some of the bones assigned to "Iguanodon ottingeri" (also from Utah) show the same tall spines Ouranosaurus had. Maybe Ruby is an Ojoraptorsaurus or Hagryphus, rather than an Oviraptor. We don't know what their crests looked like, after all, they could have been more slanted than Chirostenotes's...

There are just a couple I've seen that this idea can't explain, like Muttaburrasaurus, Amargasaurus(?) and Spinosaurus (no spinosaurs of any kind have been found in North America), and maybe others I haven't noticed. But for the most part, they appear to fit.