First report of Apatosaurus (Diplodocidae: Apatosaurinae) from the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Utah: abundance, distribution, paleoecology, and taphonomy of an endemic North American sauropod clade
Foster et al
A cervical vertebra preserved at the famous and productive Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Utah is that of an Apatosaurus, a sauropod dinosaur genus not previously recognized at the site and the first new dinosaur taxon identified at the site in years. The presence of Apatosaurus at a mudstone site dominated by other taxa, both theropod and sauropod, suggests a pattern of preservation within the Morrison Formation in which sites in fine-grained sediments yield dramatically uneven relative abundances of dinosaurs, with variable dominant taxa by site, compared with more time-averaged and attritional coarse-grained channel sandstone deposits. In addition, the continued demonstration of the wide-spread occurrence and abundance of Apatosaurus within the Morrison Formation, and the absence of its clade among diplodocid faunas on other continents, suggest that this group may have been endemic to North America during the Late Jurassic and that it may have originated there, though this is far from clear.