Scientist Pickin Bones in Utah Dinosaur Bones That Is

    May 5, 2005

Scientists dig for dinosaur bones in Utah. No big surprise there because sections of Utah are loaded with dinosaur bones. I know this because my niece Elizabeth (mentioned previously) would like to go there and see the latest find geologists and paleontologists have been playing with.

The latest bones would appear to be one heck of a find because it may be a big missing link between meat eating dinos and plant eating dinos. The relative of the velociraptor still looks like a raptor but also has a lot of the features of an herbivore but the bone diggers still don’t know what they ate for sure. It could be meat or plants or both.

“We know that the first dinosaur was a small-bodied, lightly built, fleet-footed predator. Early on, two major groups of dinosaurs shifted to plant-eating, but we have virtually no record of those transitions,” said researcher Scott Sampson from the Utah Natural History Museum.

The Falcarius utahensis, a type of therizinosaur(feathered dinosaurs) was found at a dig about 2 years ago near the Utah town of Green River. The dinosaur was about 4 feet tall and 16 feet long. He also could’ve eaten both meat and vegetables. Something my mother always suggested too. Scientists are still working on what exactly it for sure though.

Under closer examination, Dr. Kirkland said, the Falcarius fossils showed “the beginnings of features we associate with plant-eating dinosaurs.” The teeth were not the sharp, bladelike serrated teeth of the typical predator, but smaller and adapted for shredding leaves. “I doubt that this animal could have cut a steak,” he said.

I’m sure I’ll hear quite a bit more about the find this weekend as I see my niece over the Mother’s Day weekend. Far be it from to question her knowledge or National Geographic anyway.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.