American geology had been viewed as a scholarly backwater by most European scholars, whose tradition of analytical earth science was fully a century older. (Dinosaur costume)Como changed all that. For the first time Europe had to look to America for the lead in the paleontology of a major geological period. Woodcuts and lithographs of Marsh’s Brontosaurus from Como appeared in European textbooks, travel guides, and popular nature studies. “Brontosaurus” was even transliterated into Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.
The famous brontosaur quarry lies in the midsection of the Morrison, in a zone full of the grey-blotched floodplain mudstone, about a hundred feet higher in the sediment-layer sequence than the topmost sandstones of the Sundance. (realistic dinosaur costume)Dinosaurs were everywhere here. In one afternoon’s walk I counted seven immense carcasses eroding out of the mudstone along a four-mile transect. And not only bones. There are also trackways of the living giants, pressed into the limy mud of shallow lakes, and now hardened into creamy-gray calcareous mudstone.
For me, trackways and ripple marks have a special intimacy. Both can be so fresh-looking that they seem to hold the sounds made by the Jurassic world, the sucking noise of viscous mud being pulled by the cushionlike foot pads of brontosaurs as they stepped through the Jurassic muck. (BBC dinosaur model)The size of their footprints almost defies the imagination. The largest are over three feet long and two feet across, and deep enough to hold sixty gallons of water—more than enough to bathe a three-year-old child or serve as a fullimmersion baptism for the diminutive first dinosaurs of the Triassic Period. Ten miles north of Como, at Sheep Creek, a freshwater lake bed in the Morrison exposes an entire field of brontosaurs’ footprints, dozens of tracks churned into each other, rendering the whole limestone slab a twisted craterland. A veritable symphony of noises must have filled the air as herds of brontosaurs executed their ponderous choreography.