Desert Discovery Unveils Southern Utah’s Prehistoric Gem: Rare 30-Ton Brachiosaurus Long-Necked Dinosaur Bone Unearthed

Southern Utah’s desert landscape has yielded a rare and remarkable discovery – the fossilized humerus bone of a Brachiosaurus, an elusive and towering dinosaur.

The find, made by paleoartist Brian Engh in May of the previous year, has stirred excitement among paleontologists due to its rarity and excellent state of preservation.

The Brachiosaurus, a massive dinosaur known for its giraffe-like appearance with long front legs, a deep chest, and an elongated neck, is a member of the sauropod family, characterized by large, long-necked creatures. The recovered humerus, measuring 6 feet, 7 inches, is a vital upper arm/leg bone of this colossal dinosaur.

This discovery is particularly significant as it marks only the third Brachiosaurus humerus ever found and the first in Utah.

The bone’s retrieval involved a collaborative effort between paleontologists from the Utah Field House of the Natural History State Park Museum in Vernal, Utah, and the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. To safeguard the site and the fossil, its exact location remains undisclosed.

John Foster, the curator of collections at the Utah Field House, expressed the excitement surrounding this find. Notably, it is the first Brachiosaurus humerus discovered in over 60 years that is also in relatively good condition.

The previous discoveries occurred in 1900 in Grand Junction, Colorado, and in 1955, making the 2019 find the most complete of the three.

The Brachiosaurus, estimated to have been over 80 feet long and 40 to 50 feet tall, was once considered the largest dinosaur ever found. However, subsequent discoveries have challenged this claim, with other sauropods believed to have been larger and heavier.

Foster highlighted the rarity of the Brachiosaurus during its time, noting that it was likely outnumbered by more common dinosaurs like the Camarasaurus at a ratio of 20 to 1.

While over 200 Camarasaurus specimens have been found in the Morrison Formation, a rock unit covering the Late Jurassic period (155 million to 148 million years ago) and extending throughout the Western United States, only 10 known Brachiosaurus specimens exist to date.

The Morrison Formation, rich in fossils, has yielded remains of various dinosaurs, including Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Diplodocus, and the elusive Brachiosaurus. The recent discovery of the Brachiosaurus humerus in Southern Utah contributes valuable insights to our understanding of these ancient giants that once roamed the earth millions of years ago.


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