Abstract

The Crystal Geyser Dinosaur Quarry, near Green River, Utah, is located at the base of the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation. The quarry preserves a nearly monospecific accumulation of a new basal therizinosauroid, Falcarius utahensis. We used field descriptions and petrographic analysis to determine the depositional environment and development of the quarry strata. Results of these analyses suggest that the quarry represents multiple episodes of bone accumulation buried by spring and overbank flood deposits. Evidence for these previously undescribed spring deposits includes calcite macroscopic structures within the quarry strata—such as pisolites and travertine fragments—and calcite micromorphologies—including radial-fibrous, feather, and scandulitic dendrite morphologies and tufa clasts. At least two episodes of bone incorporation are preserved in the quarry based on their stratigraphic position and lithologic associations. The unique depositional setting in and around the Crystal Geyser Dinosaur Quarry appears to have been favorable for the preservation of vertebrate fossils and provides insight into early Cretaceous environments in North America.

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