Scientists find more dinosaur bones at Utah quarry

June 5, 2009 By MIKE STARK , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Scientists at one of Utah's major new dinosaur quarries have found 60 to 70 new bones this spring, including what appears to be a 20-foot-long neck bone discovered this week.

The latest finds are fresh evidence that the site near Hanksville could be a large and important source of bones in the coming years.

"In some places you can't work to remove one without finding four or five more," said Scott Williams, collections and exhibits manager at the Burpee Museum of Natural History, the Rockford, Ill.-based institution that's been digging at the site.

Scientists hope the mix of , trees and other species in the area may help piece together what life was like 145 million to 150 million years ago, including details about the ancient climate.

The site - called the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry - is a logjam of sorts, where dinosaur remains are believed to have been washed into place by an ancient stream. In some places, bones are "stacked up like cordwood," said Jim Kirkland, Utah's state .

Crews have been working to uncover bones in an area about 200 feet long and 100 feet wide, Williams said. But evidence of exposed bones stretches for about a quarter-mile.

"We're just literally scratching the surface," Williams said. He said work at the site could last a decade.

Free guided tours of the site will begin Sunday and are scheduled to last through June 20.

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On the Net:

Burpee Museum of Natural History: http://www.burpee.org/

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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