The Quarry at
Dinosaur National Monument

Combining a large bunch of dinosaurs and the rapid sedimentation in a riverbed has resulted not only in a large collection of fossils but also a compact and informative museum: Dinosaur National Monument Quarry.

Although many of the fossils from this location have been mined out and displayed in various museums, Earl Douglass -- who discovered the site back around the turn of the century -- thought it an interesting idea to protect a section of the fossil bed so that people could see the actual fossils in place.

A section of the wall: Camarasaurs, stegosaurs, brontosaurs, and so on.

Time and ideas don't generally go well together, but in its modern aspect (including much chipping away to show the fossils in relief), the museum was "finished" in 1991. "Finished" because it is an ongoing exploration site, with new dinosaurs being discovered in the area.

wall enlargement
From this enlargement of the above shot, some bones are easier to identify than others are.

The protected "wall," or fossil bed, is about 40 yards long by 40 feet high (as a rough guess) and has thousands of bones in a haphazard array. (And, yes, there's a guide to help distinguish one bone from another.)

Happiness is discovering a complete (and young) camarasaur intact.

The museum is entered on a ramp that takes one to the upper level: a good midpoint for viewing the wall, which thanks to time and tectonics, was shifted from being flat to being nearly perpendicular. (It's very thoughtful of nature to oversee such conveniences.) This level also has several small exhibits, but the more complete ones are on at the lower level, which also includes possible views of paleontologists at work (if you can figure out their working hours).

A yard-long baby stegosaur is
fleshed out in plastic.

There is also a full-sized skeleton of an allosaur mounted in the museum, and should you forget what an allosaur looks like, I've a sketch of a dancing pair of them.

In June 1999 I've also added a 3d reconstruction (with small video) of an Allosaur skull in a matrix.

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