Camarasaurus is significant in the world of dinosaurs in that “Brontosaurus” wasn’t actually just an Apatosaurus, but rather an Apatosaurus with the head of a Camarasaurus.
From the Denver Post in the USA:
A frontal assault on fossils
Army wants bone site for war training
By Joey Bunch
Published on: 05/28/07
La Junta, Colo. —- Last winter’s snow has the cactus sprouting brilliant blooms in the Picket Wire Canyonlands as snakes, scorpions and tarantulas scurry for cover on the sun-bleached earth of the Comanche National Grassland.
The landscape of southeast Colorado also crawls with history, but time may be running out on public access to the fossil-laden tract as the Army considers acquiring the land for war training.
This secluded valley is home to one of North America’s richest dinosaur finds —- more than 1,300 individual tracks; 35 sites have yielded bones.
“The great thing about this site is that it’s here to see, and it’s free for the public,” said U.S. Forest Service paleontologist Bruce Schumacher, leaning against a rock after wading across the Purgatoire River —- the River of Lost Souls, as French explorers first called it.
Schumacher pointed out the beachball-sized tracks of a brontosaurus left 150 million years ago.
“The history here is just layered on itself,” he said.
But every map proffered by the Army has included the Canyonlands in the proposed expansion of its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.
Karen Edge, Pinon Canyon outreach coordinator working out of nearby Fort Carson, did not return telephone calls for a comment on the future of the Canyonlands.
Colorado’s congressional delegation is fighting the expansion because it would uproot families and communities in this historic Old West region.
An older history is here, too.
“This is one of the last special places in Colorado that hasn’t been overrun by tourists,” said Jace Ratzlaff, an aide to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.).
Ratzlaff grew up in the fifth generation of ranchers near Las Animas.
Volunteers have looked for bones on only about 40 percent of the 16,000-acre Canyonlands. The rest might go unsearched.
“We have no idea what the Army is going to allow,” said Barb Timock, spokeswoman for the Forest Service.
“I guess I would hate to speculate about access to Army property.”
The Army ceded the land to the Forest Service in 1990 because of its rich historical value.
One of the richest dinosaur sites was found in May 2004 by John McRaven, a 66-year-old volunteer from Missouri.
He found a fragment of dinosaur bone about the size of his thumb halfway up a grueling ridge, just as he was preparing to call it quits in the area, he recalled last week.
Then he found another piece of bone, then another as he followed a faint trail of shards beyond a gap of boulders until he came upon dinosaur vertebrae jutting from the ground and his trowel uncovered the leg bone.
The find’s richness led Schumacher to believe that the area was a sandbar where carcasses washed up.
And there’s still much to dig and discover throughout the canyon, he said.
See also here.
Colo. ranchers resist Army’s growth plans: here.
- The Brontosaurus never existed (npr.org)
- Join me in telling President Obama: Protect Utah’s Canyonlands from tar sands mining! (sunsetdaily.wordpress.com)
- Let’s Permanently Protect Utah’s Greater Canyonlands (treehugger.com)
- Guest Commentary: Irresponsible drilling proposals for national parks (denverpost.com)
- Dinosaur science, business and fraud (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- New Exhibit In Philadelphia Celebrates Dinosaur Drawings (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)