Dinosaur Bone Excavated Years After Discovery
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- Prehistoric remains were discovered on BLM land near the Utah border in the 1980s. Paleontologists and volunteers have been working ever since to uncover all that lies underneath. On Thursday the scapula of an Apatosaurus was lifted out of the ground years after its discovery.
The remains at the Morrison Formation are about 150 million years old.
John Foster, the curator of paleontology at the Museum of Western Colorado, said, "What we have here is two bones fused together that make up the shoulder blade of an Apatosaurus."
ReBecca Hunt-Foster, the paleontology collections manager of the Museum of Western Colorado, said, "The work that we do out here is really important to preserve our history and interpret it and let people know about the great scientific value that we have with these specimens."
The remains of those species are still being uncovered, helping people learn about the past.
"There are a lot of dinosaurs that died here. Some of that may be due to lack of water, food," Hunt-Foster said.
Paleontologists and volunteers have been working on getting this 6-foot scapula bone out of the ground for years.
Foster said, "When we first uncovered the shaft then started following it out, we had a number of bones particularly on this back side that we were up against."
Kay Fredette, the lab supervisor at Dinosaur Journey, said, "Can't say I have a favorite bone. The next one, the last one, they are all exciting."
Close to 200 pounds of plaster was necessary to cover the bone before it was extracted, protecting it and keeping it in tact. At the end of the day, the hard work paid off.
"These are the days we look forward to, especially because of the days when we are lying in the trench with jackhammers underneath this thing, whacking away," Foster said.
"Every time you uncover one, you're the first human being that's ever laid eyes on it," Fredette said.
Once one bone comes out of the ground, it's on to the next one. People from all over the world come to the site and take part in the digs.
"Engineers, scientists, astronauts, housewives, teachers, lots of teachers come ... they really enjoy coming here and learning about it and then taking it back to their kids," said Fredette.
This bone is just another piece of the puzzle as paleontologists continue to piece together parts of the past.
The scapula is now heading to the lab so that paleontologists and volunteers can get a better look at it.