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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'Dinosaur Dance Floor' Discovered Along Utah/Arizona Border

The University of Utah has released information about a new dinosaur track site in the Coyote Buttes North area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, located along the Utah/Arizona Border.

Below are excerpts. Read the complete report.

...The "trample surface" (or "trampled surface") has more than 1,000 and perhaps thousands of dinosaur tracks, averaging a dozen per square yard in places. The tracks once were thought to be potholes formed by erosion. The site is so dense with dinosaur tracks that it reminds geologists of a popular arcade game in which participants dance on illuminated, moving footprints."Get out there and try stepping in their footsteps, and you feel like you are playing the game ‘Dance Dance Revolution' that teenagers dance on," says Marjorie Chan, professor and chair of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah. "This kind of reminded me of that - a dinosaur dance floor - because there are so many tracks and a variety of different tracks."

(Winston) Seiler says the range of track shapes and sizes reveals at least four dinosaur species gathered at the watering hole, with the animals ranging from adults to youngsters."The different size tracks [1 inch to 20 inches long] may tell us that we are seeing mothers walking around with babies," he says.

The site - a 6-mile roundtrip hike from the nearest road - is in Arizona in the Coyote Buttes North area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, which is part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The track site - about halfway between Kanab, Utah, and Page, Ariz. - is near a popular wind-sculpted sandstone attraction known as The Wave.


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