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Dino quarry limits hours due to fed cuts

Published June 3, 2013 9:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In the face of federal budget cuts, one of Utah's most popular dinosaur destinations is limiting its hours this summer.

The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, 32 miles south of Price, and its museum will be open between Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Bureau of Land Management has announced. It features the highest concentration of Jurassic dinosaur bones ever found, prompting several theories to explain why so many predators came to grief in one place.

"It's an unsolved puzzle. Some people come out to partake in that mystery," said Michael Leschin, who runs the paleontology program for the BLM's Price field office. "It's a place for people to use their minds and marvel at that natural heritage we have in this country."

Annual visitation averages 5,000, but it can vary widely year to year, Leschin said.

Starting in 1927, University of Utah scientists began finding the first of 12,000 bones, mostly from the predatory allosaurus, in the 150-million-year-old Morrison Formation.

The quarry's bones are on exhibit in 65 museums, including many at the Natural History Museum of Utah and Price's Prehistoric Museum.

The Cleveland-Lloyd site features interpretative trails, a museum and two buildings that protect partially exposed bones. Admission is $5 for adults, free for kids under 16.

Brian Maffly