Friday, July 02, 2010
Picture of the Day - 6/27/2010
Gizzard Stones, UT - During our stay at Green River, Utah, we traveled a couple times to Crystal Geyser, just south of town about five miles. On the way there, we ran into a layer of Morrison Formation (very colorful...greens, grays, reds) - which is typically where you would find dinosaur bones. While we found no bones, we did locate several "gizzard stones", or more appropriately, gastroliths. These are small rocks the beasts would swallow to help crush up their food. After time, these small stones would become highly polished and eventually pass through the digestive system. There are several ways to identify gizzard stones. First, they are highly polished, as mentioned, such that they actually feel "soapy" to the touch. Second, they are usually found in the desert amidst mainly sharp, angular rock - i.e., they seem out of place. So why would they not be river rocks? River rock is generally much rougher in texture. So next time you're out in the desert, keep a sharp eye out for these!