Hurricane, Utah — Team Jurassic Utah finished its fieldwork two days ahead of schedule because I hadn’t calculated just how efficient it is to have Dr. Shelley Judge as a member. Twice as fast, twice as good. We thus were able to have yesterday in Zion National Park and today in the St. George area. With the perfect weather this was the place to be an exploratory geologist.
We first drove down a long dirt road to a site in Warner Valley which has exposed Lower Jurassic dinosaur tracks.
Here’s the nice footprint. Notice how the mud was squeezed up between the toes as the theropod sloshed its way across a floodplain. This shape of dinosaur track is given the trace fossil name Eubrontes.
After lunch we went to the Dino Cliffs site in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. We had a nice hike through exposures of the Kayenta Formation. (The top image of this post is also from this area.) We found the dinosaur tracks, but their poor preservation did not merit a photo.
Finally we went to the old 19th century mining town of Silver Reef. The museum was closed, but we were able to walk around the old buildings still preserved, along with antique mining equipment on display.
The wildflowers today were uncommon. They included the classic Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja angustifolia) …
… and significant numbers of Spectacle Pod (Dimorphocarpa wislizeni). Thank you to my Mother Corinne Wilson for the identification!