History and geology of the Cope’s Nipple Quarries in Garden Park, Colorado—type locality of giant sauropods in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation

  • Kenneth Carpenter Utah State University Eastern
Keywords: Copes Nipple, Garden Park, Sauropod, Morrison Formation, Upper Jurassic

Abstract

The discovery in 1877 of what proved to be an extensive multi-taxa bonebed from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation helped kick-start the first Jurassic “Dinosaur Rush.” Located north of Cañon City, Colorado, the site, known today as Cope’s Nipple within the Garden Park National Natural Landmark, was worked by Oramel and Ira Lucas from 1877 to 1884, again by the Carnegie Museum in 1901, and sporadically by the Denver Museum of Natural History from 1991 to 1996. The history of this work is presented in depth for the first time using extensive archival records. The quarries occur in a single horizon around the base of Cope’s Nipple and represents a widespread bonebed in distal overbank silty mudstone that was subsequently modified by pedogenesis. Limited taphonomic data indicate the bonebed was a mix of allochthonous and autochthonous bone.

Bones of Camarasaurus supremus as found and excavated by Oramel Lucas in 1877. Photograph was taken by C.W. Talbot (Cañon City, Colorado). See figure 4 caption for more details.
Published
2019-01-25
How to Cite
Carpenter, K., 2019, History and geology of the Cope’s Nipple Quarries in Garden Park, Colorado—type locality of giant sauropods in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation: Geology of the Intermountain West, v. 6, p. 31-53.