Harpers Corner Road Closed for Winter
The Harpers Corner Road is closed for the winter at Plug Hat Picnic Area which is approximately five miles from US Highway 40. More »
Ely Creek Backcountry Campsites Closed
The Ely Creek backcountry campsites located along the Jones Hole Trail have been closed until further notice due to bear activity in the area. More »
About Iridotriton hechti:
Iridotriton means "rainbow newt," since it was found in the Rainbow Park area of Dinosaur.The species is named for Max Hecht, who studied Jurassic salamanders. Its lifestyle was much like that of modern salamanders. They lived in wet environments such as flood plains, splays, and channels. On land they probably would eat insects and small invertebrates while they likely ate crustaceans in the water.
Why is Iridotriton hechti a superstar?
The only specimen ever found of Iridotriton was found at Dinosaur. It is also the type specimen or holotype, making it the first of its kind to be described. All specimens found later will be compared to it to determine if they are the same species. The specimen is relatively complete, containing most of the skull as well. Most salamander fossils are isolated limb bones due to their delicate nature
Jurassic Fact: The holotype of Iridotriton is the most complete salamander skeleton from Jurassic North America.
For more information: Visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall where a cast will be on display starting October 2011. CT images of the specimen are also available online.
Did You Know?
Paleontologist Earl Douglass first came to Utah looking for mammal fossils. He returned in 1909 and discovered an immense deposit of dinosaur bones, now protected at Dinosaur National Monument. Although made famous by dinosaurs, Douglass died preferring his beloved mammal fossils over dinosaurs.