Local paleontologists find a record breaking fossil

By: Stacia Strong Email
By: Stacia Strong Email

FRUITA, Colo. Dinosaurs have captured the curiosities of many throughout the years. Movies like Jurassic Park and The Land Before Time have made us wonder just how big dinosaurs really were.

A huge find by the Dinosaur Journey paleontologists and volunteers can now shed a little more light on these mysterious animals.

The group found the largest known Apatosaurus femur bone.

The Apatosaurus was an herbivore - or plant eating animal - and is sometimes mistakenly called a Brontosaurus, which never actually existed.

Last Thursday they were finally able to lift the bone from the dig site after five summers of digging.

Paleontologist Curator for the Museum Julie McHugh said she can't wait for the information they will be able to get out of studying the bone.

"Is this an adult that has stopped growing or is it an animal that was still growing at the time of death is this maybe not the upper size limit for an Apatosaurus is the question we want to address," said McHugh.

They will also be able to better understand the size and shape variations.

The femur measured in at 6’ 7’’ and scientists estimate it came from an animal that was 80 to 90 feet tall and weighed about 2,800 pounds.

The group will spend the next one to two years completely unearthing the bone, and then will spend time stabilizing and preserving the bone.

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