It's a race against time to save dinosaur bones

By: Joe Gagnon Email
By: Joe Gagnon Email
Rabbit Valley has turned into dinosaur valley, and now it

This undated handout photo provided by the National Geographic Society shows a technician at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota working to prepare the fossil of the mummified dinosaur. One of the most complete dinosaur mummies ever found is revealing secrets locked away for millions of years, bringing researchers as close as they will ever get to touching a live dinosaur. (AP Photo/Phillip Manning, National Geographic Society)

Rabbit Valley has turned into dinosaur valley, and now it's a race against time to save timeless fossils.

Orchard Mesa third graders got to experience the past first hand, taking a tour of the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in Rabbit Valley.

The quarry is a local hub to dig up pieces of history, pieces that are millions of years old.

As the kids head off for the rest of the tour, however, the adults come in to play in the dirt, trying to dig up as many bones as they can find and put them together.

"Its kind of like a jigsaw puzzle, but fun," says volunteer Kay Fredette. "Everytime you find a new bone, you're the first human being who's ever laid eyes on it."

There have been numerous bones dug up at the spot, and on Thursday, it was full of vertebrae.

First, the volunteers try to take every bit of dirt off each fossil with paintbrushes.

Then, they cover it in plaster before it heads to the Dinosaur Journey in Fruita.

Time is not on their side, though. Tthe first freeze approaches in about a month and they need to get the quarry protected before it hits.

If not, the bones could be gone, "from weather and from vandalism," says Fredette.

Dinosaur Journey is asking for help from the general public too, just head down to the Dinosaur Journey in Fruita to find out how you can become an amateur paleontologist.


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