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New Find In Arizona
The folwg news story is quoted from ''The Arizona Daily Star'',
Tucson, 19 Feb 95:
Dinosaur bones found near Sonoita
A cache of fossilized dinosaur bones has been found in a southern
Arizona canyon, including one skeleton that apparently is nearly
intact and may be of a previously unknown species, a paleontologist says.
Gordon Nelson, who runs a pest control firm, and landscaper Rich
Thompson found the bones while hiking in a 100-million-year-old petrified
forest north of Sonoita shortly before Thanksgiving.
They had kept the site secret to protect it from fossil scavengers.
Ron Ratkevich, a paleontologist with Tucson's Arizona-Sonora Desert
Museum, said the site has at least 50 bones which apparently date from
100 million to 120 million years ago in the early Cretaceous Period
during which few dinosaur remains have been found anywhere.
One set of bones protruding from a slab of sandstone includes an
animal's pelvis, ribs, shoulder blade and neck vertebrae, he said.
Ratkevich said the dinosaur's skull may be inside the rock.
"This is likely a new species of dinosaur," Ratkevich said,
adding that skulls are rarely found.
Ratkevich said the animal apparently was between a horse and an
elephant in size with hips similar to those of long-necked dinosaurs
known as sauropods.
Ratkevich, who hopes to begin excavation work next week, said
other bones are scattered about the site. He said they range in size
from that of a human thumb to that of two fists. One appears to be
a claw, he said.
Another fossil appears to be a smoothed "stomach stone" of the
kind that helped plant-eating dinosaurs digest their food, he said.
"We've just touched the tip of the iceberg," Ratkevich said.
"It looks like all of this could lead to something very remarkable."
Nelson said he and Thompson were looking for petrified wood
when they saw what appeared to be fossilized bone fragments that
have washed down from higher ground.
"We followed the bones up the slope and then we found the
skeleton," said Nelson, an amateur fossil hunter.
The pelvic bone, he said, was protruding from the ground
"like a lightning rod."
Terry W. Colvin
Ft. Huachuca, Cochise County, Arizona