These Dinosaurs Used to Roam Tennessee

It's hard to imagine Nashville without Broadway and skyscrapers or the mountains that form our valley but thousands of years ago, our state had completely different residents!

Here are some of the dinosaurs and prehistoric animals that used to roam over Tennessee!


This giant, 7-foot tall mammal lived in the land that is now Tennessee about 12 million to 12,000 years ago! Camels actually evolved in North America where they migrated to Eurasia. Now of course, camels are only found in the Middle East and central Asia).

Duck-Billed Dinosaurs

Not many dinosaur fossils have been found in Tennessee and the ones that have been uncovered are too fragmentary to assign them to a specific species. BUT they are most likely those of duck-billed dinosaurs called hadrosaurs and they date back 75 million years. Wherever hadrosaurs existed, there were tyrannosaurs and raptors but those bones haven't been found yet.


Tons of giant sloths roamed North America during the Pleistocene Epoch (2.58 million years - 11,700 years ago). Tennessee's best known giant sloth? Mylodon! These guys were 10 feet tall and weighed 2,000 pounds and were ironically smaller than a lot of the other prehistoric giant sloths.

Various Miocene and Pliocene Animals

The remains of an entire ecosystem dating 23 million years ago that included multiple mammals, including saber-toothed cats, ancestral rhinos, a genus of panda bear and prehistoric elephants!

A smilodon was probably one of those saber-toothed cats...since a tooth from one of them was found in downtown Nashville in 1971 (where Bridgestone is now located)!

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