PALISADE, Colo. — A fossilized bone trumped one government survey along a Palisade trail last week, prompting the Bureau of Land Management to bring in fossil experts.
During a survey for the Palisade Plunge bike trail, the group stumbled upon the bone of a likely hadrosaur, which is a duck-billed dinosaur that thrived in Colorado roughly 70 million years ago.
A BLM geologist who works on paleontological findings on public lands described the fossilized bone's location as just five feet from the trail. The geologist said the bone likely became exposed when a boulder on the clifftops above Palisade tumbled to the bottom of the valley.
Officials say they wanted to extract the bone to gain any potential knowledge from it, rather than let it degrade in the elements and save it from potential theft.
The finding is the latest in the excitement surrounding the future bike trail, which has led to the discovery of an eagle's nest, a threatened species of cactus and is being shaped by a prized public hunting area near the Grand Mesa top.
Additional work needs to be done, and BLM officials say they have no idea what they will find moving forward. One scientist working on the team even told the Grand Junction Sentinel, which first reported the discovery of the bones, that he hopes to find the bones of a T-Rex in the area.