Public tours planned at dinosaur quarry

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Beginning Sunday, the public will have the opportunity to tour one of Utah's richest dinosaur fossil quarries.

Officials with the Burpee Museum of Natural History, which is conducting excavations at he site about 10 miles northwest of Hanksville in Wayne County, will be on hand to conduct guided tours, provide information about the quarry and answer questions.

The road to the site requires a high-clearance vehicle; the 40-minute tours will be limited to groups of 20. Visitors should be able to walk over uneven, rocky terrain and bring plenty of water.

Last summer, paleontologists from the Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rockford, Ill., began preliminary excavations at the site with fossils that are 145 million to 150 million years old.

After only three weeks of excavation, the quarry yielded at least four long-necked sauropods, two carnivorous dinosaurs and a possible herbivorous stegosaurus.

Located in a preserved river channel, the quarry also contains the fossilized remains of animal burrows and large petrified tree trunks.

The Utah office of the Bureau of Land Management and the Burpee Museum are working together on this long-term research initiative and plans to provide interpretive educational and recreational opportunities in coming years.

- Mark Havnes

Public tours of the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry

When » June 7, 9-14, and June 16-20, depending on weather. Tours will start on the hour, every hour, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will last approximately 40 minutes.

Where » Located 10 miles northwest of Hanksville on road that requires high-clearance vehicle. For specific directions to the quarry, call or visit the BLM Hanksville Field Station at 380 S. 100 West, Hanksville, Utah, 435-542-3461.