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Home > True Science > Unknown Theropod Jaw

Bone Zone. ‘The concrete jungle’ area of the digsite is an ancient river channel composed of brutally hard, whitish sandstone. Fortunately, Jurassic dinosaur bones found there tend to be of great quality!

One day back in 2002, a father and his teenage son joined Bob Simon to ‘ground-pound’ for dinosaur remains. After a few hours, the son found a black fragment of something embedded in the hard sandstone. Bob told the boy and his father to keep digging carefully around the specimen so that it could be identified.

After more arm-numbing chisel and hammer work, the specimen resembled a rib section. Bob was able to remove it in one sandstone block and take it to the campsite during the lunch break. After a gourmet meal of cold cut sandwiches and soft drinks, he grabbed an exacto knife and began whittling around the bone.

There appeared to be sockets on one side - and then suddenly a small tooth was exposed. The ‘rib section’ was actually a lower dentary or jawbone of a Theropod (meat-eating) dinosaur. Bob carefully wrapped up the specimen and put it aside for lab prep.

Once the lower jaw was freed from its rock prison, a few teeth could be seen in the jaw and some small, unerupted teeth were exposed. Bob could see right away that the teeth were bladed and serrated - but the serrations did not resemble those from an Allosaurus.

The jaw is 9 inches long and incredibly thin. It has been shown to a number of paleontologists and received many different opinions as far as species. Today, it remains a lower dentary from an ‘unknown Theropod’.

It’s a terrific, scientifically important find that will someday be identified!

Go to Jurassic Bones & Teeth Gallery.

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