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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Help Needed To Move Dinosaur Fossils

Moab Dinosaur Fossils - KSL Photo
If you have a really big helicopter or some extra cash, the Utah State Paleontologist would like your help.

Fossils from a “herd of Utahraptors” sit on the an unstable slope near Moab, and scientists would like to move them to a lab where they can be safely studied.

The associated rocks weight about 5 tons, so a big, powerful helicopter could actually do the job.

KSL has this interesting report about the fossils, complete with video and impressive photos. Here are excerpts:

The area the dinosaurs were found in is believed to have been a death trap. State paleontologist Jim Kirkland theorizes that 100 million years ago a pack of Utahraptors attacked a plant-eating dinosaur stuck in quicksand.

"(They) found this big hulking herbivore stuck in the mud," Kirkland said. "They went in, probably a feeding frenzy, these Utahraptors — old ones and young ones — and in turn, a bunch of these animals got stuck in the mud."

"What's really good about this, too, is the preservation of the bones is just exceptional," said Scott Madsen, another paleontologist with UGS.

The biggest problem the scientists are running into is how to get the mass from place to place. It will require a heavy-lift helicopter from out of state, and that's far outside the UGS budget. Instead, the group is hoping for donations to help fund the project.

Read the complete report.

Utah has many fascinating dinosaur sites. Learn more.

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