Abstract by Alec Martin
A Bone to Pick: Databasing a new Coelophysoid Dinosaur from the Nugget Sandstone of Utah
Coelophysoid dinosaurs include several species of small theropods ranging from the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic. Hundreds of bones of a new coelophysoid dinosaur have been uncovered from the Saints & Sinners Quarry near Vernal, Utah. The bones are preserved in near-shore silty sandstones of an interdunal oasis between eolian dunes of the Late Triassic portion of the Nugget Sandstone. The bones are rarely articulated, and a database linked to a GIS map is required to determine the assignment of bones to individuals based on ontogenetic age/size and associations. The characterization of >250 different bones, including recording of morphological and taphonomic features, sedimentation position-stability factors, and proximity to other related bones, is a crucial step in preparing for the future description of this taxon, which will provide insights into early theropod evolution and the Late Triassic paleoecosystem of Utah.