The scientific tourist #373 — food fight

Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, here you see (the fossilized skeletons of) a Marshosaurus and a Ceratosaurus circling a Stegosaurus carcass:

Food fight

All three of these fossils (and many others) were found in the famous Cleveland-Lloyd quarry, which is a bit of a mystery to this day.

The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry (to use its official name) hosts the densest concentration of Jurassic-age fossils ever found.  More than 15,000 fossilized bones have been recovered to date, and more are being added to the count daily.  More unique still, the fossils found are largely those of carnivores — in a ratio of about 3:1 compared to herbivores (the ratio of the respective populations while alive would have been about 1:20).

It’s thought that the Cleveland-Lloyd formed a predator trap back when it was a series of muddy clay flats in a river’s floodplain.  A herbivore would get stuck in the sticky mud, becoming an attraction for carnivores who would subsequently get trapped (and become prey) themselves.

Most of the bones recovered from the quarry are housed at the Natural History Museum of Utah, but copies of them are on display in museums worldwide.

This entry was posted in Geology, History, Sci / Tech Tourism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.