SOLVING TAPHONOMIC JIGSAW PUZZLES: INSIGHT INTO THE COMPLEX DEPOSITIONAL HISTORY OF A LANCE FORMATION (MAASTRICHTIAN) DINOSAUR BONEBED
A model is presented to explain these taphonomic features. First, dinosaurs, turtles, and crocodilians died and their carcasses were scavenged. Scavenging dinosaurs may have trampled and crushed bones at this point, creating cracks in bones, which may have resulted in fragmentation during transport. Before weathering of the bones could occur, a flood transported additional bones to the area from a different location. This flood ripped up the bones, organic debris, and mud clasts at the scavenging location. The bones were somewhat abraded before they were finally deposited. The organic debris that was associated with the bones and mud caused numerous iron-rich concretions to form near many of the bones. This taphonomic model for Rose Quarry demonstrates the complexity that may exist for many other vertebrate bonebeds and reemphasizes the importance of careful taphonomic study in the excavation of fossils.