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FW: Dinosaurs fossils found next door to Super PC Memory
In case you haven't heard this yet...
Dinosaur fossils found at golf course
Triceratops roamed 65 million years ago site 65 million years ago (huh?)
By Mike Patty
News Staff Writer
WESTMINSTER -- Herds of triceratops roamed what are today the fairways
and greens of Westminster's Westmoor Golf Course 65 million years ago.
The remains of four of the massive, plant-eating dinosaurs have been
uncovered from the course now under construction at West 108th Avenue
and Oak Street. Those remains eventually will be displayed at the
Denver Museum of Natural History.
"When our crews were grading the golf course, they uncovered some very
large sandstone blocks," said Bill Walenczak, Westminster director of
parks, recreation and libraries.
"We put the rocks aside because we thought we might use them for walls
on the golf course. The Denver Museum of Natural History called us and
said they had found dinosaur bones south of the golf course and
suspected there may be bones on our site."
Westminster gave the museum permission to inspect the rocks, and Bruce
Young, a volunteer paleontologist, discovered the triceratops remains.
"We found bits and pieces of four different triceratops," said Young.
"We discovered a significant part of a shield or frill, a lower jaw
with a tooth, the end of a femur, some vertebrae, pieces of rib. It
was very exciting."
The city plans to donate the remains to the museum.
Kirk Johnson, curator of palentology at the Denver Museum of Natural
History, said Westminster is underlain with rocks full of dinosaur
The hills around Westminster and Broomfield are sandstone that 69
million years ago was the beach of a large inland sea, Johnson said.
As the sea drained, the beach moved to the east. Then, before the
formation of the Rocky Mountains, the area was a lush swampland.
"Picture the bayous of Louisiana," Johnson said. "It was quite a lush
place with lots of palm fronds, giant ginger plants, triceratops,
tyrannosaurus rex, duckbill dinosaurs and bonehead dinosaurs."
There is a strong link between the triceratops and Denver, Johnson
said. The very first triceratops ever discovered was found in Denver
in the 1880s. One was found during the construction of Coors Field,
which led to the Colorado Rockies adopting the triceratops, Dinger, as
the team's mascot.
"We find lots of parts of triceratops but have had a hard time finding
a complete skull or skeleton," Johnson said. "They evidently were
pretty tasty critters because after they died, their skeletons were
scavenged and pulled apart. The museum doesn't own a good triceratops
and our fervent hope is to find a complete skeleton and skull. It
would be nice if it came from the Denver area."
Walenczak said that despite the discovery of dinosaurs, the city
doesn't have plans to change the name of the Westmoor course, which
opens this September, to something like Jurassic Park or Fossil Ridge.
"But we have been talking about about a logo that reflects the fact
that dinosaurs once roamed the course," Walenczak said.
On to the Ostrom Symposium! Warning, people in the front three rows may
--John R. Hutchinson