Tuesday, October 16, 2012

St. George Dinosaur Disovery

 In honor of National Fossil Day on Wednesday, here's a post about some cool fossils we saw recently. We were headed to St. George, Utah to watch some friends run in the St. George marathon, and I figured that since we were going to make the trip, it would be a great opportunity to see some of the sights. With Desert Boy's love of paleontology, it was only natural that we head to the Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. 

This is a relatively new site, discovered in 2000 when Dr. Sheldon Johnson was leveling a hill on his property. He found the dinosaur tracks, and it was quickly seen that this was an exceptionally good place for tracks. He worked to preserve the tracks instead of developing the land. I couldn't help but wonder what dinosaur tracks lay under the nearby parking lot, roads, church, and houses.

 And the tracks sure are spectacular! These are not difficult to see at all. I liked to think of the dinosaurs wandering across the landscape, unknowingly leaving prints that would be preserved for millions of years.

 At least three different species of dinosaurs left tracks at the site.

 We also saw fossilized mud cracks, which are cool looking.

 The site also has some other really interesting tracks, such as these swim tracks. Apparently it's rare to find tracks that dinosaurs made as they were entering the water and starting to swim. I also really liked the impression of dinosaur skin. It doesn't seem like it could be so old!

 The kids really liked the touchable fossils.

 I thought this fossil was really pretty--and big! We were on little kid speed through the museum, which meant I couldn't read very much.

Much of the museum protects the biggest trackway, with a dinosaur replica to give a sense of scale. Although the museum isn't very large, it sure is interesting.

 The kids especially liked the hands-on activities in the activity room.

Another favorite was the sandbox.

It looks like the museum is working on making a short trail out back, which would be a nice addition.

Hope you have a great National Fossil Day!

1 comment:

John Mosley said...

I was once accused of being "too much of a natural historian". It was a nice compliment.

You are already a natual historian. The journey to paleontologist / geologist isn't long. (give in to the dark side)


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