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The Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, Utah
Located at the entrance to the monument at the western end close to Vernal and Jensen, the quarry is a marvel.
The modern building replaced an older one which was built on unstable ground. It’s main purpose is to shelter a long vertical wall of sandstone from which protrude some 1,500 dinosaur bones and fragments.
The vast majority of dinosaurs were herbivores, who gathered at watering holes like the one here. Packs of the more rare carnivorous predators then hunted the herbivores. When many of them died here and sank into the riverbed, millions of years of pressure fossilized the skeletons. Subsequent millions of years of erosion began unearthing the bones, which are excavated for study by paleontologists.
Digging at this wall was halted to preserve it as a rare find.
The dinosaur quarry is a separate building near the western entrance to Dinosaur National Monument. The quarry is supported by the University of Utah and Brigham Young University.
The building protects a long wall of stone which has some 1,500 dinosaur bones and fragments protruding from it. It is quite an amazing sight.
Apparently large herds of herbivores came to a watering spot at this site. Herbivores were numerous, while carnivores who preyed on them were relatively rare. Still, packs of Allosaurs would occasionally show and slaughter the slow herbivores. The deceased creatures would slowly sink into the sand, which over millions of years was compressed into stone.
Eons of erosion later, places like this one were exposed for paleontologists to release their secrets.
While the wall is relatively neutral in color, its complex texture is a challenge to photograph in an interesting way. I put together a small video to illustrate the quarry and the wall.
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