Western Digs’ Top 5 Paleontology Stories of 2013

#5. Dinosaur Pileup Found Preserved in Utah Desert

Our fifth most popular story began about a hundred million years ago, when an iguanodont browsing in a mudflat got hopelessly mired. As the helpless prey began to struggle, it drew in a host of predators — who quickly found themselves caught in the same muddy trap.

dinosaur fossil excavation
Paleontologists at the scene of the ‘death trap,’ with fossil blocks covered in plaster (Courtesy James Kirkland)

Fast forward to this past June, when paleontologists reported a special find in southeastern Utah: an uncommonly large, concentrated, and well-preserved dinosaur graveyard, containing dozens of individual dinosaurs, along with a host of other plant and animal life.

The fossil deposit proved so large that scientists struggled to devise a way to excavate the site and transport the specimens to a lab for study.

Read all about the “dinosaur death trap” and our exclusive interview with Utah’s state paleontologist about what  experts have already found in the fossil cache.

 See #4. T. Rex Caught in the Act >>

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