Now one of the most important sites in the United States for dinosaur discoveries lies in Utah. The area, known as the Grand Staircase, is in the south of the state. And while the first dinosaur skeletons were discovered here back in the 1880s, there are a number of reasons why the locale has become so important to paleontologists in more recent times.
After the initial rush of discoveries, there wasn’t much of a push to continue digging at the Grand Staircase. That all changed towards the end of the last century, however, thanks in part to a raft of new scientists eager to further their careers. And the geology of the area has given them ample opportunity to do just that.
The Grand Staircase is essentially a series of layers of different kinds of rocks. These layers run out from the Grand Canyon in a series of steps, which give the area its name. Interestingly, too, the rock formations are also all of different ages. And because of a quirk in Utah’s climate, dinosaur remains are often found not far from ground level.