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I have about 130 volunteers who work for me and some of them like to look for
fossils in the Denver area. As most of you know, many of the first discoveries
of dinosaur taxa (Ornithomimus, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops (as a
Bison)), were made in the Denver area in the late 1800s. But what most of you
don't know is that dinosaurs continue to be found in the area today.
One of my most active collectors, Bruce Young (usually accompanied by his
wife), checks out construction sites after getting permission. There has been a
lot of development for the past 10 years around Denver (there have been rumors
that we are in a recession, but continued activity sure fools me).
Interestingly, many of the dinosaur specimens collected these past 10 years
have their own street address.
The majority of the specimens are fragments, such as ceratopsian horncores,
ceratopsian jaw fragments, centra of various vertebrae, chunks of ribs,
isolated teeth of theropods, hadrosaur, ceratospians, etc. However, Sunday
Bruce made his most important discovery and today I helped him and 3 other
volunteers excavate a partial ceratopsian skull. An earthmover found it first
and shaved off the entire left side of the skull. But in doing so, had exposed
the bones for Bruce to find. Nevertheless, we did recover the entire right
side, including brow-horn. The specimen measures 7 feet (2 m) from frill to
beak. This is the most complete skull from the Denver area ("Bison" alticornis
was just a pair of horns and top of the skull), and the second skull from
Colorado (first found by me over 20 years ago).