Chan says if the features are potholes, they are extremely unusual compared with typical potholes on the Colorado Plateau and their formation still needs to be explained fully. She will work with Breithaupt and the others to examine the site in greater detail.
"A reinterpretation could emerge, but those conclusions have not yet been written as a scientific paper and need to be submitted to a journal for publication after peer review by other scientists," she says.
Nevertheless, the University of Utah geologists feel obligated to inform the public of the difference of opinion because of wide publicity about the "dinosaur dance floor."
"The public interest has been tremendous, and fortunately there are many other fantastic, accessible, documented dinosaur track sites than can be visited in the area," Breithaput says.
Seiler spent considerable time at the unusual site. He acknowledges that the dinosaur track interpretation is controversial, further study is warranted, and if the paleontologists turn out to be correct, "that's part of science."
Chan adds: "This is how science works, and we'll have to see how it shakes out in the end."
|Contact: Lee Siegel|
University of Utah