💥Jurassic Jamboree: Prehistoric Block Party Unearthed in Maryland Park after 136-year Pause⌛

TL;DR: Park-goers, fasten your seat belts, you’re in for a Jurassic jaunt! A bunch of eager scientists, and their volunteer posse, have hit the dino jackpot, uncovering a cluster of rare dinosaur bones in Maryland’s Dinosaur Park that date back to an eye-popping 115 million years ago! They’ve unearthed the most massive theropod fossil ever found on the eastern seaboard and plenty of others, marking the first dinosaur “bone bed” discovered in the state since the 19th century. 🦖🦴💰

It was just another day of dusting and digging in April when Maryland’s Dinosaur Park transformed into a real-life Jurassic Park. Can you even begin to imagine the heart-stopping moment when the park’s paleontologists and volunteers unearthed what turned out to be the largest theropod fossil ever discovered in eastern North America? The dig revealed such an array of fossils that it catapulted the park’s status to a certified “bonebed.” What’s a bonebed, you ask? It’s like the Beverly Hills of fossil finds, where bones of one or more species gather to chill out in one geologic layer. 🎩🍸🦴

JP Hodnett, the Park’s Paleontologist and Program Coordinator, is the Indiana Jones of this story. He discovered the three-foot shin bone of a therapod, a carnivorous dinosaur branch known for its rave reviews among the Mesozoic crowd. But wait, there’s more! Hodnett hypothesized that this fossil could belong to the one and only Acrocanthosaurus – the big kahuna of theropods in the Early Cretaceous period, rumored to stretch up to a whopping 38 feet in length! 😱🦖📏

This monumental find is Maryland’s first since 1887. Let that sink in for a minute. We’re talking about a 136-year gap! It’s as if the fossils decided to play an extended version of hide and seek. Can we blame them, though? It’s got to be tough being a celeb from the Cretaceous period! 🌿🕰️🌍

Now, don’t pack your bags for a trip to Maryland’s Dinosaur Park just yet! These fossils need some TLC before their big debut. After a thorough clean-up and excavating session, they’ll be heading to their final destination – a local museum. And yes, you’re invited to the opening! Who knows, you might rub elbows with the Astrodon Johnstoni, the most massive dinosaur species discovered east of the Mississippi River. Not to mention, it’s the first time Maryland has hosted such a unique dinosaur block party since the Early Cretaceous Period! 🎉🔬🖼️

While these fossils are getting prepped for their close-ups, it’s essential to note that their rarity is what makes this news so epic. We don’t come across dinosaur fossils in the eastern US as often as we’d like. Matthew Carrano, a Smithsonian paleontologist, calls this bonebed of fossils “the most significant collection of dinosaur bones discovered along the eastern seaboard in the last hundred years.” High praise indeed! 🙌🦖🏆

Let’s not forget the prehistoric all-stars found at the park since 2018: a Tyrannosaur and the second-oldest stingray fossil discovered on Earth. Talk about an A-list roster! And just think, what other ancient secrets might this park hold? 💫🌍🔍

So, as the fossils take their VIP journey from park to museum, it’s time to wonder: what might these prehistoric superstars reveal about the Earth’s ancient past? And what would you do if you stumbled upon a 115-million-year-old fossil on your next park visit? Is Maryland’s Dinosaur Park going to be your next vacation destination? 🌏🦖🚙

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