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Geology of Utah National Parks Syllabus

Day 6: Megatracksite.


Overview of this Site
At this site participants are asked to observe therapod tracks and answer a series of questions about the tracks. First, how many organisms made the tracks? How do you know?
Second, did the trackmakers walk here during deposition of the Moab Tongue of the Entrada, or during deposition of the Summerville? Why?

Third, think about what environments (modern) preserve tracks, and which environments (modern) preserve bones. Bones are common in the Jurassic Morrison Formation but tracks are relatively rare. Here, at the Jurassic Summerville/Entrada contact tracks are common and bones are rare. Why might this be?

Empirical formulas are used to estimate the speed of trackmakers. The formula we will use (Alexander, R. McNeill, 1976) is based on observation of modern large mammals. The formula: