ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diggin' For Dinosaurs - Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Updated on March 30, 2010

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Utah

A lumbering Camarasaurus wades into a shallow pond to slake its thirst. As the massive dinosaur drinks, its stout, elephantine legs sink into the viscous clay. Struggling to extract its limbs only buries them deeper. The beast bellows an alarm call, which lures a trio of hungry allosaurs to the pond. The carnivores rush in to chomp the flanks of their prey, but before they can reach the helpless camarasaur, they notice their pace slowing. Each step mires the predators deeper in mud until only their thrashing heads remain above water.

Whether or not this scene played out some 147 million years ago is a matter of speculation, but a similar scenario likely did. The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in central Utah constitutes one of the most puzzling and dramatic dinosaur death traps ever excavated. Unlike the floods that formed the mass dinosaur graveyards at sites such as Ghost Ranch or Dinosaur National Monument, the deposits at Cleveland-Lloyd formed in still water. And unlike most dinosaur deathbeds, where herbivores dominate among the deceased, nearly three-quarters of the bones pulled from the Cleveland-Lloyd quarry come from meat-eating dinosaurs.

The bounty of bones numbers more than 12,000 from a dozen kinds of dinosaurs and represents at least 70 individuals, including 44 Allosaurus fragilis. The top predator of the middle Jurassic, Allosaurus was widespread and abundant. Some palaeontologists suggest that the high numbers found at Cleveland-Lloyd might be because they hunted in packs, at least as juveniles. Though smaller than Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus had beefier arms and bigger claws (with three on each hand to T. rex's two), so just one out stalking would have inspired intense fear. Smaller carnivores, Ceratosaurus, Stokeosaurus, and Marshosaurus, hunted or scavenged here as well.

The dinosaur bones, stained jet black from manganese oxide in ancient groundwater, were scattered but otherwise preserved remarkably intact and unweathered. Excavation started in 1929, and discoveries began soon after William Lee Stokes, a Princeton student from nearby Cleveland, Utah, and the future state geologist, arrived at the site in 1939 with some shovels and a poorly paid assistant. Various teams worked off and on until 1990. Fossils removed from Cleveland-Lloyd have stocked museum displays worldwide, and an unknown number of bones are still buried here.

Two metal sheds cover the quarry site, where visitors can still see original fossils in place and casts of other bones from a metal walkway just above the excavation. The yard-wide pelvis of Camarasaurus on display has dinosaur tooth marks carved into it.
More bones, and a mounted Allosaurus skeleton, can be seen in the small visitor center on site. There's a cast of the probable Allosaurus egg found in 1987, next to a CAT scan that appears to show a tadpole-shaped embryo inside; an abnormal shell layer indicates that the egg was retained within the mother as she succumbed in the Cleveland-Lloyd sediments. A site map on the visitor center wall, with thousands of bones outlined, reveals the remarkable density of dinosaur fossils in the surprisingly small site.

Visitors with spare time should enjoy meandering among the red-tinged deposits of the Morrison Formation, the richest repository of dinosaur remains in the United States, on the 1.5-mile Rock Walk Nature Trail. Or one can take a worthwhile excursion 30 miles north to the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, in Price. There, four dinosaur skeletons from Cleveland-Lloyd - Allosaurus, Camarasaurus, Camptosaurus, and Stegosaurus - take center stage, and surrounding cases display deformed toe bones and injured ribs and arm bones from Allosaurus (apparently life was tough atop the Jurassic food chain). Upstairs, be sure to see an impressive collection of dinosaur footprints found in the ceiling of coal mines in Carbon County, Utah. The foot bones of two track makers, Chasmosaurus and Prosaurolophus, have been mounted above their respective prints, and a nearby footprint cast measures nearly four and one-half feet long.

Continued in: Diggin' For Dinosaurs - Berlin-Ichthyosaur

Back To Start

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      AcakeEvagence 

      6 years ago

      ???

      gucci ???

      gucci gucci

    • profile image

      Debbie 

      6 years ago

      wow I want to see!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)