Geologists discover dino stomping ground in US

October 15th, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, October 15 (ANI): Geologists from Brigham Young University (BYU) have revealed a literal dinosaur stomping ground near Moab, Utah, where they have found thousands of bones, which include 67 individual dinosaurs fossils that represent 8 species.

Mysteriously, nearly all of the 4,200 bones recovered so far are fractured.

“Although enough bones were recovered to assemble several complete dinosaurs, the vast majority of bones are broken to bits and pieces, just pulverized,” said BYU professor Brooks Britt, lead author on the study.

The researchers reconstructed how the bones got there and why they are in such bad shape.

The quarry, located immediately west of Arches National Park, contains dinosaurs of all sizes and ages, indicating a massive die-off event.

The location of this dense cluster of bones - near the shore of an ancient lake bed - suggests a drought was the cause.

Yet, the biggest puzzle was the cause of all the fractures.

A closer look revealed that most of the breaks were angled “greenstick” fractures that occur in fresh bones.

The bones broke before they became brittle.

“Some of these bones were almost 5 feet long, and they are green, and you really have to work hard to shatter bone that’s still green,” Britt said.

“That means the big boys were stepping on those things. Those would have been audible, big snaps,” he added.

Huge plant-eating sauropods and iguanodontids must have stomped at the site more than 100 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Period.

Some of the sauropods from this quarry are cousins to the brachiosaurus.

The bones are now housed in BYU’s Earth Science Museum. (ANI)

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