If only Fred Flintstone knew that the Paleolithic Era would be so exciting for future generations. The aggregates industry is accustomed to using explosives to extract what it needs: rock. But when scientists and researchers use them, it’s a bit more exciting.
Scientists in Utah experienced a bit of this excitement after exhausting various methods — including the use of concrete saws and jackhammers — of unsuccessfully extracting dinosaur bones from a quarry. That’s when researchers turned to explosives. For three days, teams detonated explosions to loosen the rock without damaging the fossils, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to a Discovery.com report, researchers in Utah excavated two complete and two partial skulls of a dinosaur known as Abydosaurus mcintoshi, a 105-million-year-old sauropod, which the scientists think might have descended from the brachiosaurus family.
“It is amazing,” says paleontologist Brooks Britt of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, according to a Feb. 23 USA Today online report. “You can hold the skull in your hands and look into the eyes of something that lived a very long time ago.”
The dinosaur fossils — more than 100 million years old — were discovered at Dinosaur National Monument, a park in Colorado and Utah. The quarry was discovered in the 1970s, but wasn’t excavated until the early 1990s, according to the Discovery report. However, the skulls weren’t found until 2005, the Los Angeles Times noted.
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