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 »
What is a trace fossil?
Not all fossils are bone or other body parts! A trace fossil is a result of animal activity. For example, a dinosaur footprint or an arthropod burrow would be an example of a trace fossil.
What makes trace fossils superstars?
Although many different trace fossils are found at Dinosaur, some are exceptional specimens. One of these is a piece of dinosaur limb bone that has been partially chewed by termites. No termite body fossils have been found anywhere in the Morrison Formation, but this trace fossil shows that termites were a member of the Morrison ecosystem at Dinosaur.
Another spectacular trace fossil is a piece of petrified wood chock full of beetle borings. Beetle body fossils have never been found in anywhere of the Morrison Formation. Beetles must have also been present in the Morrison ecosystem at this time to make these marks.
Jurassic Fact: Insects are abundant in modern terrestrial ecosystems, yet there have been no confirmed insect body fossils anywhere in the Morrison. Virtually everything we know about Morrison insects comes from trace fossils.
For more information: Visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall where the termite and beetle trace fossils are on display.
Did You Know?
A population of peregrine falcons has been established at Dinosaur National Monument. The park's rugged canyons make ideal habitat for the once endangered raptor. Fossils show that dinosaurs evolved into birds--and so still live in modified form at Dinosaur.