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Re: _OTHNIELIA_'S TEETH




On Mon, 10 Feb 1997 Tetanurae@aol.com wrote:

> But, in Galton & Jensen's description of _"Nanosaurus" rex_ (renamed as the
> type of _Othnielia_) [BYU Geological Studies 20:137-157], they describe a
> headless skeleton.
> 
> So, does anyone know where the _Othnielia_ teeth described, and if the teeth
> were associated with any postcranial remains to make sure that the teeth
> *really* belong to _O. rex_?  Also, were the teeth associated with any
> cranial remains?


        I know little about those non-pneumatic beasties, but I am very 
familiar with Jensen's "Nanosaurus rex", having spent many hours 
wondrously gazing at its beauty.  Jensen tells the following story, take 
it for what you will:

        Jensen was led to the site by one of his rockhound acquaintanaces 
(alluded to in a post of mine long ago).  When Jensen saw the animal he 
recognized its significance and promptly went about collecting the 
animal.  Even back then word of "new finds" travelled fast in the close 
knit communities so prevalent in Utah and Colorado, and as the sun was 
setting a news crew arose.  As Jim tells the story it was one of the most 
beautiful backlit scenes imaginable (for those familiar with the west you 
know what I mean, mountains, a sky lit up by an orange sun, gentle 
breeze, *no snow*...), which proved to be a fatal mistake.  See, Jensen 
ran out of daylight, and with the matrix being pretty hard and the bone 
pitch black he dare not collect by lantern light (as he would later do at 
Dry Mesa (!)), so he decided he would return the following weekend.  But 
Jim did not heed the words told to those in car sales "school" ("Do NOT let 
the customer leave the lot, for that's the last you are likely to see of 
the customer...).  The weather turned bad, other things caught his 
attention, etc..  When he did return he was aghast to find the entire 
hillface "bioturbated" (to put it mildly).  As he would later hear 
through the grape vine, a rather nefarious rockhound couple recognized 
the hill where Jensen had been collecting, and went out on Sunday (Jensen 
collected the thing on a Saturday supposedly) to "take a look see" (on 
Sundays 30 years ago almost nothing moves in those two states, even now 
things are sluggish at best in outlying areas).  They brought with them 
their trusty picks, awls, and friends, and proceeded to tear into the 
hill, hopeful of finding the skull.  For the second slip occurred when 
the media announced "Jensen was hopeful to find the skull."  It is 
unknown to this day if they found it or not.  Jim is convinced the skull 
was there.  The skull would have been about half-dollar sized and 
B E A U T I F U L.  As Jensen buried the site he, as he was often want 
to do, opened up a "deception pit" or two, so it is unlikely they found the 
exact spot right away.  But being determined they did quite a number on 
the hillside, and were supposedly quite reckless and angry by the end of 
the day.  I have heard no rockhound rumors about the skull ever turning 
up.  Jensen went back and sifted through the rubble, but failed to find 
the skull.
        BC