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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fossils From New Dinosaur Species Discovered at Dinosaur National Monument

"Paleontologists: New species of long-necked dinosaur found hidden in slabs of Utah rock"

That's how the LA Times begins this article, which describes how fossils from a totally new species were discovered in rock on the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument.

The quarry at the Dinosaur has long been described as one of the best places in the world to view dinosaur bones. The area has been studied extensively. Yet the monument covers a vast area and it is exciting to see new discoveries there.

Below are excerpts from the LA Times article.

Fossils of a previously undiscovered species of dinosaur have been found in slabs of Utah sandstone that were so hard that explosives had to be used to free some of the remains, scientists said Tuesday. The bones found at Dinosaur National Monument belonged to a type of sauropod — long-necked plant-eaters that were said to be the largest animal ever to roam land.

The discovery included two complete skulls from other types of sauropods — an extremely rare find, scientists said.

The fossils offer fresh insight into lives of dinosaurs some 105 million years ago, including the evolution of sauropod teeth, which reveal eating habits and other information, said Dan Chure, a paleontologist at the monument that straddles the Utah-Colorado border.

"You can hardly overstate the significance of these fossils," he said.

Paleontologists believe they have the remains of at least four dinosaurs at the site. All appear to be juveniles and were likely around 25 feet long, Britt said.

Read the complete article.

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