June 28 – by Katelyn
Today we went to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah
Today we went to Dinosaur National Monument. Going here was pretty exciting because finally we were going to a National Park that was different from most of the Utah parks. When we first got here, we first got our JR ranger books and looked at the exhibits in the Visitor Center. After that we went on a 5 minute trolley ride to a building called a quarry. A quarry is a room where a bunch of fossilized dinosaurs are. One question that I had coming here was how the dinosaurs got up on the side of this mountain.
Well, the answer is that once upon a time, a couple hundred million years ago, dinosaurs once roamed here in this area where a river flows. One particular year, that river dried up, not providing the water that these giant dinosaurs needed to survive. So, the dinosaurs started dying in massive amounts, but where did their carcasses go? Well, the answer to that is that they were just left on the ground, and when the rain came, their carcasses washed into a river bed. Over time that river dried up and a bunch of sediments and minerals piled up on the bones fossilizing them, just like in the Petrified Forrest.
Then, the forces of uplift made the riverbed turn into a small mountain. After that little mountain was created erosion worked its wonders by slowly making the sediment on top of the mountain "erode" leaving the dinosaur fossils like we see them away, sort of like petrified wood. Amazing, isn't it! What the Rangers told us was so special about this location is that this is one of the only places in the world where you can see whole dinosaur skeletons fossilized as they originally laid, and this is extremely rare and valuable for the researchers. I really liked it in the quarry because all of the fossils were jumbled together. I saw leg bones, sculls, vertebrate, ribs, and shoulder blades. My favorite bone was a scull that still had teeth!! After we were done in the quarry, we went back to the visitors and got our JR ranger badges. Dinosaur National Park was definitely amazing and a one of a kind place that you would not be able to see anywhere else in the word.
I am not saying that you can’t see dinosaur bones anywhere else, but you can’t see them anywhere else in the world like we saw them today. This was not on our original trip itinerary, and I am glad that we changed it to visit this cool park with Ryan!