Gary Thompson was fifteen when he found the fossils near Cedaredge in Delta County. It was 1975, and he’d just gotten interested in paleontology after a school field trip to scenic Escalante Canyon, a red-rock canyon where he and his classmates learned about the dinosaur bones and petrified dung specimens regularly found in the area.
“That really piqued my interest,” Thompson recalls. “I became kind of a rock hound. I enjoyed going out and searching for fossils and such.”
But a move with his mother to New Mexico from western Colorado was about to take him from some of his favorite hunting grounds. “I wanted to fossil-hunt one more time before we left,” he says. “So I asked my mom to drop me off out near the rodeo grounds.”
As Thompson scanned the nearby hillside, a mound of dirt with some rock fragments caught his eye. When he arrived at