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Trapped in an 18,000-pound block of quicksand now turned to stone is a hidden treasure of well-preserved Utahraptor fossils.  Utahraptor ostrommaysorum is a large (around five meters or 18 feet long), feathered, predatory theropod dinosaur from Utah’s early Cretaceous (~124 million years ago). Utahraptors sported huge sickle claws on their second toes, with the largest specimen measuring at 22 cm (8.7”) long. Utahraptor is a dromaeosaurid dinosaur — popularly called “raptors” based on the Jurassic Park movie franchise shorthand for it's sickle-clawed stars.

 

The illustration below shows the suspected setting for the origin of this amazing fossil block.  Bones of an iguanodontid dinosaur that was also believed to have gotten mired in quicksand.  So far bones from perhaps six individual Utahraptors have been found and they think were attracted to the quicksand mire by the easy prey and we're trapped.  This block could provide evidence for pack hunting behavior in Utahraptors

 

Funding is required to keep the project moving

 

C8QTc4WUMAESHkz.thumb.jpeg.13e93033de015588ff0c4fcf20d5a4cc.jpeg

 

The setting, Utahs badlands the Cedar Mountain Formation

 

C8NDJ-rUIAAiG8N.thumb.jpeg.276cec876d7c58173aee710ad26491b0.jpegC8F5g_hVwAImRdD.thumb.jpeg.ac7f0d98e510eefdf3fa63603598f3b2.jpegC8NArlkUwAEAZr9.thumb.jpeg.1f0306640e67f7c79028ee52b3c246f1.jpeg

 

 initial discovery

C8F2P1QVMAAX6Na.thumb.jpeg.6d051f9e59b714aad15d0fec607a6b80.jpeg

 

Sickle Claw visible

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More initial discoveries

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C8F2WYyUwAE_R9p.thumb.jpeg.a5bf08706ec6b16cfacf5899c44a4466.jpegC8QTWYTUMAEvrgL.thumb.jpeg.89f3738570ef4f3b833babfc018daeb8.jpegC8NAhzEUAAAyW1n.thumb.jpeg.f8fadd668e5f2748e8c196c215c0ae21.jpegDJo-cS9UMAI_ljF.thumb.jpeg.c9abf7f5710ba4f3885c72c8b8039b4a.jpeg

 

Jaw fragment

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Utahraptor Project Link to learn much more about what is going on.

http://utahraptors.utahpaleo.org/#gallery

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Wow incredible find not just for the rare Utahraptor been found but for it demise in the mire been recorded. Utahraptor must have been some creature with them claws and feathers . Beautiful landscapes too. How did they get that down from the cliff?

 

Thank @Troodon for posting very interesting.

 

cheers bobby 

 

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18 minutes ago, Bobby Rico said:

Wow incredible find not just for rare Utahraptor but for it demise in the mire been recorded. Utahraptor must have been some creature with them claws and feathers . Beautiful landscapes too. How did they get that down from the cliff?

 

Thank @Troodon for posting very interesting.

 

cheers bobby 

 

Don't no for sure but the typical mode of transportation in these case is helicopter 

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That must have been nerve wracking for them to watch.

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Very interesting find and I recall reading about this a few years ago. Good to see there has been progress made.

 

Wasn't there another, similar find made in China or somewhere where a bunch of smaller dinos got sucked into a pit that may have been from a giant sauropod footprint?

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13 minutes ago, Shamalama said:

Very interesting find and I recall reading about this a few years ago. Good to see there has been progress made.

 

Wasn't there another, similar find made in China or somewhere where a bunch of smaller dinos got sucked into a pit that may have been from a giant sauropod footprint?

This has been in the news and progress has been made but funds still needed to move it forward.  Yes on China but cannot recall the details.   Typically of what happened at the La Brea tar pits in LA .

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Oxytropidoceras

Shamalama asked:

 

"Wasn't there another, similar find made in China or somewhere where a bunch of smaller dinos got sucked into a pit that may have been from a giant sauropod footprint?"

 

Dinosaur "Death Pits" Created by Giant's Footprints?

Chinese pits filled with an astounding array of small

dinosaur fossils may have been created by a 20-ton

behemoth wandering a volcanic landscape, a new

study suggests By Brian Handwerk, National Geographic News

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100119-dinosaur-fossil-death-pits-footprints/

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/photogalleries/100119-dinosaur-death-pit-pictures/#025647_600x450.jpg

 

The paper is:

 

Eberth, D.A., Xing, X.U. and Clark, J.M., 2010. Dinosaur

death pits from the Jurassic of China. Palaios, 25(2), pp. 112-125.

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2110/palo.2009.p09-028r

 

Yours,

 

Paul H.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Troodon this is spectacular. Are there volunteers digging? I would love to lend a hand and now reside in Lehi, UT. No offense taken if this is a non-volunteer dig, but I think it's really neat to find such dinosaur remains in my backyard near the UT/AZ border. Bravo sir. Bravo.

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My u

21 minutes ago, Fossil-Hound said:

@Troodon this is spectacular. Are there volunteers digging? I would love to lend a hand and now reside in Lehi, UT. No offense taken if this is a non-volunteer dig, but I think it's really neat to find such dinosaur remains in my backyard near the UT/AZ border. Bravo sir. Bravo.

My understanding is that the dinosaurs in the trap have been excavated and recovered and they are looking for funding to go on to the next step preparation..  Not sure what volunteers are needed at this point but I would contact Scott Madsen who is the chief preparator or Jim Kirkland to see what you can do. The very first link can get you to the to Go Fund Page to get you started.

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19 hours ago, Troodon said:

My u

My understanding is that the dinosaurs in the trap have been excavated and recovered and they are looking for funding to go on to the next step preparation..  Not sure what volunteers are needed at this point but I would contact Scott Madsen who is the chief preparator or Jim Kirkland to see what you can do. The very first link can get you to the to Go Fund Page to get you started.

Right on. So do you know where they are preparing these raptors in house? My guess is the natural history museum either in Lehi or Salt Lake City, or where they transported to a university? Did you get a chance to assist in extracting these specimens? Thanks!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Progress on Utahraptor block.  New juvenile skull showing up; first juv premax & maxilla to go with babies

 

DWL5JoYU0AEFkoZ.jpg.1a6736f499eccc6eead168545c6930c9.jpgDWL5Kp7UMAAg7iW.thumb.jpeg.8222dc99c68a283d181de3aeb7128ac6.jpegDWL5MikU0AA3W-0.thumb.jpeg.dbf61e10375b766f609b4a3918809f5d.jpeg

 

Claw

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  • 2 months later...

Nice video on Utahraptor

 

 

 

Image of main block

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Thanks for sharing  this video.

30 years on from my childhood and I am still in awe and wonder of these amazing creatures .

 

This raptor has some massive weaponry :D

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  • 2 months later...

Jim Kirkland reports that the entire plaster cap has finally been removed from the top of the Utahraptor block.  Now to relief the bones. 

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Not much new to report from J. Kirkland.  The block was moved to a new facility to begin detail prep.  Funding continues to be an issue.  

A minimum of 10 theropod femora have been exposed which is exciting

 

DuttDzxU8AA80II.jpeg.d659509e200f343bbd951be20029c83d.jpeg

 

 

Dentary 

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Maxilla

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Another baby Utahraptor was found as evident by small teeth.

 

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Es9S-ZUVEAUOoRS.jpeg.649a8a7241e2fd010719e04948df489e.jpeg

 

 

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Wow. Great find. Can't wait to see more details exposed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cool Scope

 

EvGIj-8VIAA0mxf.thumb.jpeg.5fca3b716d4e893cf02c797a61cb13e9.jpeg

 

Caudal vertebrae string

 

EvGIjzeVIAMLQdF.jpeg.dee4aa4fe615a678f98ef8114dd6d4df.jpeg

 

 

Looks like an illium 

 

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I got to see this block a few years ago.  To answer some of the questions posed above:

they bulldozed a road up to the site to collect that incredible jacket.  

I don't think they are looking for volunteers.  Scott Madsen is doing the work himself at the Thanksgiving Point dinosaur museum (I can't remember its actual name).  

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Fossilis Willis

@jpc, it was at the Thanksgiving Point Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi, Utah. I was also fortunate enough to tour their prep lab and see this in person. From what I've been told, the promised funding from the state fell through and the specimen has since been relocated.

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Scott working hard.  They moved the block to Raptor Bay at UGS it been 1 year.  Private funding has achieved 50% of the stated goal.

Esx_BwnVkAQRe4_.thumb.jpeg.959cf10053b2ab8b889af9fb6a554f89.jpeg

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A beautiful maxilla sees light after 136my

 

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Sjfriend

Love the details coming out in the block

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