Evidence from the Mesozoic of Utah
Dinosaur fossils, both body and trace, occur in many places in Utah. Examples from all three periods of the Mesozoic are found in the state, with the area around Moab particularly attractive to hunters of these overgrown geckos.
What has not been recognized previously is the clear evidence of parental dinosaurian neglect shown by the location of many of the fossil sites.
Just off highway 191, not too far from Moab airport, dinosaur footprints are preserved in a greenish mudstone. They might be Triassic, Jurassic or Cretaceous: I can't remember what the experts told me. What I do remember is the electricity pylons cracking and fizzling disconcertingly above the trackway site. What were the dinosaur mothers doing letting their offspring wander about in such an evidently dangerous location?
|Dinosaurs: don't follow in their footsteps, kids!|
A couple of days after visiting this site, we were taken out in the hills somewhere south of La Sal. A circuitous route took us up a dirt road that passed through a fence bearing the sign Do Not Enter: Poison Gas. If it was not for the imploring of our intrepid leader, we would have obeyed the order, but he assured us there were some amazing dinosaur tracks. In the end, he couldn't find them, but the dinosaurian parental neglect was astounding. These lizards clearly weren't called terrible for nothing.
Further dinosaur sites in Utah occur near uranium mines and dangerous corners of busy roads, proving without doubt that these recalcitrant reptiles paid scant regard to the safety of their progeny. There can be little doubt that their extinction is related to this self-defeating trait. The most probable scenario is that, when they saw an enormous meteorite plummeting towards Earth, all the juveniles gravitated towards it to see what was going on.
Next task on my dino-radar - to establish what was the most medium-sized dinosaur species. The media are always blathering on about the biggest sauropod, or the smallest ornithischian, or the toothiest theropod. The average Joes of the dinosaur world get short shrift. That will all change once my ground-breaking statistical analysis is published.