Burpee Museum of Natural History staff and volunteers have had a successful season of digging at the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry in Utah, uncovering new finds officials say could be integrated into the museum by 2013.
The museum wrapped up its most recent work at the quarry site with Rockford resident Joe Mongan discovering an upper leg bone to a juvenile diplodocus, which gave him the opportunity to nickname the dinosaur — called Jimmy, in honor of his father — said Burpee Executive Director Alan Brown.
Dr. James Kirkland, a state paleontologist at the Utah Geological Survey, said the finding will guide researchers to better understand life 35 million to 65 million years ago.
Much to learn from fossil
“The fossil record is our only record of the history of life on our planet,” he said. “We’re exploring the age of dinosaurs. They’re collecting some trophy dinosaurs that will be exhibited, and at the same time they’re collecting data to understand why the dinosaurs were there. Until you understand what controlled the formation of the site, you can’t even come to a conclusion of what kind of questions the site can answer about the geological record. This is the only way we get to understand the effects on life on a global scale.”