Tag Archive for: dinosaur


A 656-page book chronicling the paleontological discoveries and success evidenced so far at Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has been published, even as new discoveries continue to unfold on a near daily basis.
“I am here to emphasize that we are just getting started at the Grand Staircase,” said Alan Titus, the monument’s paleontologist. “We have a great big sandbox to play in.”




Near Moab, Grand County, Utah
Photographer: Carole McCalla

During Jurassic time, a sauropod walked across mud, sinking deeply into it. The footprints can be seen preserved in the rock near Moab in Grand County. BLM interpretive site.

Hanksville-Burpee Quarry, Wayne County, Utah
Photographer: James I. Kirkland

Not a logjam, but a “legjam” of dinosaur bones left in a channel of Jurassic-aged river is being excavated at the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry in Wayne County. BLM interpretive site.


Mexican paleontologists say they have uncovered 50 vertebrae believed to be a full dinosaur tail in the northern desert of Coahuila state.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History says the tail is about 15 feet (5 meters) long and resembles that of a hadrosaur or crested duckbill dinosaur.




Digging in the dirt does not sound like a glamorous job, but it caught the attention of the cable television network’s Discovery Channel.  The show, DIRTY JOBS recently went on a dinosaur dig with some paleontologists from the Utah Geological Survey (UGS).  The show is set to air on Tuesday, December 20.

According to the show’s website:  “DIRTY JOBS profiles the unsung American laborers who make their living in the most unthinkable — yet vital — ways. Our brave host and apprentice Mike Rowe introduces you to a hardworking group of men and women who overcome fear, danger and sometimes stench and overall ickiness to accomplish their daily tasks.”

State Paleontologist Jim Kirkland and UGS paleontologist Don DeBlieux traveled with the cast and crew of the show to an undisclosed location in eastern Utah for the one day shoot to look for and dig dinosaur bones out of the side of a steep hill.  “We picked that site because it is such a spectacular location, but it is a difficult location and one which requires lots of hard and strenuous work,” says DeBlieux.

In fact, the weather was very uncooperative as they were driving to the site.  “It rained for a couple of hours in the morning and we were afraid that we weren’t going to be able to film, and they only had one day to shoot.  But luckily, the skies cleared and it turned out to be a nice day.”  The show points out that you have to have patience, strength and a love of playing in the dirt in order to be a paleontologist.

“We are excited to see the show because we have only seen the trailers,” said DeBlieux.  “But based on the trailers, it should be pretty amusing!”

Some of the episode’s trailers can be seen at: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/dirty-jobs-sneak-peek/

The Utah Geological Survey provides timely scientific information about Utah’s geologic environment, resources, and hazards.

Salt Lake Tribune

A team of scientists that includes Utah state paleontologist James Kirkland have identified a new dinosaur from a partial skull and other fossil bone fragments recovered in a 91-million-year-old formation in western New Mexico.

Jeyawati rugoculus appears to be a link between the iguanodon lineage and hadrosaurs, a highly evolved group of duck-billed dinosaurs that was abundant in North American during the closing chapters of the dinosaurs’ reign, according to findings published this month in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Lead author Andrew McDonald, a doctoral student of paleontology at the University of Pennsylvania, believes this plant-eating creature roamed the western shore of what was once an inland seaway that cut North America in half during mid-Cretaceous era. McDonald authored the paper with Kirkland and Doug Wolfe as part of his senior thesis at the University of Nebraska.



Paleontologists are excavating intact bones of a meat-eating dinosaur in central Utah.

The find, made in late November, was announced Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the College of Eastern Utah’s Prehistoric Museum.

The museum’s field and laboratory manager, John Bird, says the site east of Castle Dale includes more than 20 vertebrae that are attached to one another. He believes they are from an allosaurus, a fairly common find in Utah from the Jurassic period.