Friday, September 27, 2013

The Quarry: Dinosaur Road Trip With Grace Part 4


-Grace Albers and I are taking a trip down to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado.
-We checked out some cool petroglyphs and then camped the night.
-We arrived at the quarry.
-And now....

Before we begin, I am going to upload two pictures of dinosaur skeletons that may be useful throughout this post.  The first is the sauropod dinosaur Camarasaurus, and the second is the stegosaur Stegosaurus.  When you see the labeled bones of two other sauropods called Diplodocus and Apatosaurus, you can refer to the Camarasaurus skeleton diagram below.  

A sidelong shot of the quarry face!
Pyg takes a look at the quarry face!
The vast jumble of bones from all sorts of different animals and dinosaurs is thought to be the result of the death of various animals upstream, and then their bones being washed together!  This explains why most of the bones at the quarry are disarticulated (or not fossilized next to each other like they would look like in real life), and are miscellaneous bones from such a wide assortment of creatures!
Bones aren't the only things that are found at the quarry, however!  Here are two pictures of fossil wood!
Pyg takes another look at the quarry face!  You can see the first fossilized log right above her head in the picture.
Remember before, when we mentioned most bones at the quarry are disarticulated?  Well, there are some bones that are articulated, most of which are part of the vertebral columns of various animals.  This looks like the tail vertebrae of something!
An articulated leg, possibly of a Stegosaurus.
A pair of femora belonging to something!
Looks like a rib bone to me!
An assortment of more bones.
Most of what would be considered the "cool fossils" (like skulls and claws) have been removed from the quarry.  According to Dinosaur National Monuments website, the only two skulls that remain belong to Camarasaurus: here is one of those skulls!
I can't identify most of the bones that I see in these pictures, but fortunately the monument sells a guide for a dollar which we bought.  Although the guide doesn't have all of the bones in it (not by a long shot!), it did have a fairly wide selection.  Here are a few of the bones that they identified!
One of the only claws that I saw (not to say that there weren't any others out there) is in the picture below.
Possibly a sauropod ilium.
Several bones identified.
What looks to me like a sauropod vertebrae.
Several articulated vertebrae.
More bony jumbles!
You can also see the top of the quarry wall in this bony jumble shot!
A Stegosaurus plate lies just about in the middle of this shot!
Here is a brief guide to some of the Camarasaurus bones found in the quarry!
A Stegosaurus sacrum (the center, or "body," of the big butterfly-shaped bone) and the left and right ilium (the outer parts, or "wings," of the big butterfly-shaped bone).
More of the quarry face.
A few more shots of various articulated vertebral columns!
A close up of another vertebrae, possibly a sauropod!
A few more shots of Stegosaurus plates!
The plate from the last picture is in the top right hand corner of this picture of what I think might be a sauropod coracoid.
Next time: other things at the quarry!

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