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Dinosaur National Monument

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This project was undertaken to survey the surface exposures of the Jurassic Morrison Formation within Dinosaur National Monument (DNM) for fossil occurrences of any sort. The primary purpose of this survey is to provide an assessment of the extent and characteristics of the paleontological resource in this geologic formation within DNM. In so doing, the survey may also have the effect of discovering specimens of obvious and immediate scientific importance and providing observations that will contribute to an improved understanding of the stratigraphy of the Morrison Formation. Dinosaur National Monument was originally established for, and takes its name from the unique occurrence of a quarry (the Carnegie Quarry (CQ) that has produced a diverse and abundant dinosaur fauna. The CQ occurs within the Morrison Formation which is known worldwide as one of the most prolific dinosaur-bearing units in the paleontologic record (Colbert. 1968). In addition to the dinosaurs, the Morrison has produced the best represented fauna of early mammals from the Jurassic (Clemens et al. 1979) and fossils of other vertebrates (Chure & Engelmann 1989). This suggests that the area beyond the CQ at DNM may contain important paleontological resources. This project will provide the first systematic survey of the Morrison Formation within DNM. It will provide a basis for management of the paleontologic resource in the future and is likely to yield immediate results in the discovery of specimens that can be important to ongoing research projects.