|Photo by Debbie Linton
The geology work of graduate students Celina (left) and Marina Suarez (right) have helped define a new species of raptor-like dinosaur, Falcarius utahensis, which has been discovered in Utah.
Although the discovery was made by scientists from the Utah Geological Survey and the University of Utah, the twin sisters, who are earning their master’s degrees at Temple, have done extensive field research over the past two years at Utah’s Crystal Quarry Geyser area, where the specimens were found.
Their analysis on the carbonate-rich sediments in which the dinosaurs were buried, and on the dinosaur bones themselves, suggests the area was near or in a spring, and that there were at least two mass die-offs.
The new second site, about a kilometer away, is now known as the Suarez Site and contains an abundance of Falcarius specimens.
The photo at right shows a thin section of Falcarius dinosaur bone in-filled and encrusted
by calcite — a specimen collected by the Suarez sisters in Utah and shown as it would be viewed under a microscope in the lab of geology assistant professor Dennis Terry.
- Preston M. Moretz