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Utah's dinosaurs (long, but maybe interesting)



Hey folks--
        I guess I'll unlurk here just to gab about my recent museum tour
through northeastern Utah (I was studying theropods for my thesis work on
locomotion/functional morphology). I thought some of this would be of
extreme interest to some of you taxonomy jockeys out there; I had lots of
fun looking at muscle scars, etc. rather than thinking cladograms <grin>.
        Well, I managed to see some neat stuff - the putative new species
of Ceratosaurus (Madsen and Welles, in press) at the UUMNH as well as their
Allosaurus, Stokesosaurus, and Marshosaurus material; Saurophaganax (soon
to be redescribed by Madsen and Chure, I hear), Allosaurus, and the
enigmatic but amazing "N.A.A." ("not an allosaurid"; ask Dan Chure), and
all of that crazy wacked out funky stuff at Dinosaur National Monument
(plan your trip for there ASAP; it's great). Then I ambled over to
CEU-Price and got a look at the Utahraptor and Edmarka rex stuff, as well
as the _gorgeous_ Gastonia material just for oohs and ahhs. Finally I spent
a few days at BYU oggling more Cleveland-Lloyd allosaurs, Torvosaurus,
??another new Ceratosaurus?!?, Nanosaurus rex (very cute little
ornithischian), casts of Bakker's Brontoraptor (hmm...), etc. During that
time I managed to sneak a peak at Madsen's cool setup at Dinolab and
elsewhere saw some amazing new stuff being pulled out of Bone Cabin Quarry,
including Gargoylosaurus (t.b.a.?) and some simply jaw-droppingly-stunning
stegosaur material. (deep breath)
        It was pretty fun. David and Janet Gillette were the epitome of
hospitality, and word from David reports that Colbert is in high spirits
following the 18-8 vote supporting the Coelophysis neotype designation,
plus his wife seems to be doing better, and he's getting the Big Award in
vert.paleo (sorry, I spaced out the name, but only Ostrom, Osborn, Romer,
and maybe a couple others have it). Cheers to Ned Colbert and his stunning
career which is still in top form!
        1200 rental car miles, many trips to Circle K and Chevron, and 21
rolls of film later, here I am back in Berkeley. After that nice trip, what
could go wrong? So I put my new Deinonychus poster up (one of the Dinosaur
Series posters, copyright 1993 ReSaurus Company, Inc.; displaying a
fleshed-out Deinonychus with exposed muscles, internal organs, etc.) and
then read the fine print (referring to the 'fighting dinosaurs' find):
        "A global catastrophe, such as the great flood, causing drastic
environmental change, provided a reasonable explanation for such fossils
and the subsequent extinction of all dinosaurs."
       To top that all off, I made the unfortunate choice of watching the
last 10 minutes of "The Mysterious Origins of Man" crock-umentary.
        Oh well. Serves me right, I guess. Fun research trip, though.

                        John R. Hutchinson
                  Evolving Evolutionary Biologist
                 Department of Integrative Biology
                  3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg.
                University of California - Berkeley
                        Berkeley, CA 94720
                      Phone:  (510) 643-2109
                      Fax:    (510) 642-1822
         http://ucmp1.berkeley.edu/people/jrh/homepage.html