Wednesday, 16 December 2020


Palaeontologist Earl Douglass, 1909
About 150 million years ago, a severe drought ravaged the western interior of North America. In eastern Utah, malnourished dinosaurs gathered near a dwindling river to live out their last days. 

Today, this site is known as the Carnegie Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, and it is one of the most incredible fossil sites in the world.

The celebrated fossil quarry at what is now recognized as Dinosaur National Monument in Utah was discovered in 1909 by Carnegie Museum field collector Earl Douglass.

“I saw eight of the tail bones of a Brontosaurus in exact position. It was a beautiful sight.”  — Earl Douglass in his diary on August 17, 1909, recounting the moment he found the first dinosaur remains of a Brontosaurus at the Carnegie Quarry. Those vertebrae were part of a fully articulated skeleton that became the type for a new species, Apatosaurus louisae, (Gilmore, 1936), published a detailed quarry map showing the skeleton, with "outcrop" identifying the discovery bones. The specimen is now mounted in the Carnegie Museum and those eight tail bones, freed from their sandstone tomb. 

From 1909–1923, Douglass and his crews collected more than 350 tons (700,000 pounds) of fossils from that site alone. Several dinosaur skeletons discovered by Douglass at this quarry are featured in our core exhibition hall, Dinosaurs in Their Time.

Others grace the exhibit halls of other prominent North American museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

If you would like to visit Dinosaur National Monument, you can explore extensive outcrops of the Morrison at the Dinosaur Quarry, on the Fossil Discovery Trail, the Sounds of Silence Trail, and other areas in the park.

To learn more about this fossil site, visit: