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Dinosaur Crime Scene - Who or What Killed Them?


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148 Million Years Later, Dinosaur Quarry Remains a Cold Case

July 24, 2016

Associated Press


CLEVELAND-LLOYD DINOSAUR QUARRY, Utah –  About 148 million years have passed since dozens of corpses of meat-eating dinosaurs were deposited here, just north of the San Rafael Swell and about 30 miles southeast of Price.

It's been nearly a century since the bones first were chipped out of the limestone and shipped to museums around the world, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

But it's not too late to secure the crime scene -- or at least that's what out-of-state researchers and college students who paid the site an annual visit in June hope.

What facetiously has been referred to as a "murder mystery" at Cleveland-Lloyd began with excavations in the late 1920s and remains unsolved, even after the uncovering and analysis of more than 12,000 bones. Paleontologists know water likely pooled in this onetime depression. But why so many bodies? And why so many carnivore bodies -- outnumbering herbivores 3 to 1?

"An early researcher out here once stated that there are almost as many hypotheses for this site as there are annual visitors," said University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh assistant professor Joseph Peterson.

The quarry has proved a reliable source for the Allosaurus, which could grow 30 feet long and had knifelike teeth, razor-sharp claws and the general profile necessary to grab the attention of young museumgoers. Cleveland-Lloyd even has its own visitors center -- complete with an assembled Allosaurus skeleton, which is Utah's state fossil -- and would become Jurassic National Monument in the Public Lands Initiative proposed by Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz.

Local paleontologists, however, have been less interested in hauling out a 50th Allosaurus than finding new dinosaurs at other sites. Peterson and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) assistant professor Jonathan Warnock were surprised to learn about five years ago that the historic quarry had no active digs, and they applied to the Bureau of Land Management for a permit to conduct a more technologically informed study of the fossil record.

... more at the link

There are no pictures at the first link ... this link does have some.



Edited by monroe
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