Project Name: Determining the origins of the Mygatt-Moore Dinosaur Quarry deposit and its fauna
Project Collaborators: Museum of Western Colorado
Project Description: The Mygatt-Moore Quarry in the Morrison Formation of western Colorado has yielded more than 5,000 bones of seven species of dinosaurs since its discovery in 1981. The quarry produced the first North American Jurassic ankylosaurian dinosaur (Mymoorapelta) plus other herbivorous as well as carnivorous taxa along with three types of non-dinosaur reptiles. Although six of the seven known species from the quarry are well-known from other sites in the Morrison Formation, the Mygatt-Moore Quarry is unusual in preserving thousands of bones, almost none of which are in articulation – nearly all are scattered. Also unique for the quarry is the number of Apatosaurus and Allosaurus bones and the chewed bone elements preserved along with hundreds of shed teeth of carnivores, suggesting possible scavenging of carcasses by predators. This study aims to determine how these animals and their bones ended up in this one relatively thin concentration in far western Colorado and how this origin compares with other large dinosaur sites in the Morrison Formation – a comparison that will shed light on how Late Jurassic ecosystems were different from those of today and other times in Earth history.
Project Dates: Fall 2010 to Fall 2013