The Mystery of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Death Trap

The Mystery of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Death Trap

The Jurassic period lasted from about 200
to 145 million years ago. And toward the end of it, a bunch of dinosaurs
somehow died at what’s now the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Utah, creating the densest
known bed of Jurassic dinosaur fossils. Over 60% of the fossils found in this death
trap have been Allosaurus, a top predator of the Jurassic. Long before T. rex, Allosaurus was the king
of scary bitey things. Ever since the quarry was discovered in 1927,
scientists have been scratching their heads as to why a bunch of reptiles, especially
so many predators, would just march in there and die. In a study published this week, though, a
team of researchers have created a clearer picture of the environment at the site using
two main lines of evidence. They used x-ray techniques to study the geochemistry
of rock formation, and looked at the wear pattern on tiny fragments of bone that paleontologists
might typically gloss over, because they’re too small and busted up to help with species
identification. 148 million years ago, these researchers say,
the Cleveland-Lloyd site was a seasonal pond — wet for part of the year and dry the rest. Dinosaur corpses would have been washed there
by the floods that filled the pond during the wet season. In other words, the to-be-fossils were already
dead when they arrived. The rotting corpses would have made the pond
incredibly nasty, so much that scavengers stayed away and not much else lived there. The rocks in the site contain heavy metals
like copper and lead. Previously, scientists had used this evidence
to suggest that the water hole was poisonous. But, based on this geochemical analysis, the
current researchers think it’s more likely that the metals came from the dinosaurs’
already-decaying bodies. As the pond dried out, bones near the surface
weathered and cracked, producing the fragments that these researchers studied. While bones buried further down in the muck
were preserved intact. And as the floods came again, more corpses
washed in. The team figures all this took place over
a decade or two, creating the boneyard we’re excavating today. But why so many Allosaurus? The fact that there were a lot of them doesn’t
necessarily tell us anything about their behavior. Non-social animals can be driven together
for lots of reasons, like water. The only egg ever recovered from the quarry
seems to belong to an Allosaurus, so maybe they used the Cleveland-Lloyd site to breed. But there’s not enough evidence to say that
for sure. So while this new study reveals the pretty
gross nature of the Cleveland-Lloyd graveyard, scientists still have some pieces of the puzzle
to figure out. Like Allosaurus, the tubelip wrasse is a predator. But this tiny fish feeds on coral, and it’s
developed some weird strategies for slurping up its prey. In a study published this week in the journal
Current Biology, a team of researchers got up close and personal with its lips — and
they have the freaky photos to prove it. Lots of fish live in coral reefs, but relatively
few actually eat the coral. Coral isn’t the easiest snack. For one thing, its skeleton is basically made
of rock. Plus, corals are related to anemones and jellyfish,
and the fleshy polyps have nasty stinging cells called , which resemble tiny harpoons
that spear prey or potential attackers and can inject chemicals. Different coral-eating fish have different
ways of getting around these defenses. Parrotfish, for example, favor the brute force
approach. They just bite the stony coral skeleton right
off with their strong beaks, grind it up, and poop it out as fine sand. Researchers studying the tubelip wrasse found
a far more sophisticated feeding strategy — closer to a kiss… of death. Scientists thought the tubelip wrasse had
plain, smooth lips. But the team took up-close electron micrographs
that blew that assumption right out of the water. It turns out the lips are big, fleshy, and
have a bunch of deep folds. These folds are jam-packed with mucus-producing
cells, and increase the lip surface area for maximum slime production. The mucus could work like the coating on clownfish
that helps them fend off the nematocysts of anemones, which might be a slimy physical
barrier or have a chemical component to stop the cells from stinging in the first place. Although they don’t know the exact strategy,
the researchers believe the tube lip wrasse’s mucus works a similar way to protect their
mouths when they go in for a slurp. And the mucus has another function: It helps
the fish’s lips seal shut around the lumpy coral, which helps it suck in one particularly
tasty part: the polyps’ own mucus, plus some flesh chunks. Takes goo to eat goo, apparently. These creepy grooved lips are unlike anything
previously known to science. So who knows what else we might find by looking
more closely at animals we think we already understand. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
News, and thanks especially to all of our patrons on Patreon who make this show possible. If you want to help us keep making videos
like this, you can go to­. And don’t forget to go to
and subscribe!

Randy Schultz

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100 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Death Trap

  1. Brookie Cookie says:

    I stopped paying attention for a like twenty seconds and he went from talking about dinosaurs to fish lips and I was confused.

  2. ImBlakest says:

    Didn't you tell us that dinosaurs aren't reptiles?

  3. Max says:

    Dino death trap sounds the like a music genre… or band name….

  4. MultiSanchez14 says:

    Maybe the dinosaurs just lived in the areas around the pond

  5. Stax says:

    Who wouldn't want to kiss that fish?
    What useless scavengers wouldn't go near a pile of rotting corpses?

  6. Jerman Ramirez says:

    it's pretty obvious that dinosaurs buried their dead.

  7. Ahhh714 says:

    4:24 Whoa, you scared me there for a second…

  8. Nathan Auvil says:

    Fraggle rockin sr foxely is at it again!

  9. Duane Schuh says:

    This video seems to be playing slow. About 20% slower than usual – it was very obvious during the SciShow intro… And Hank is talking slow too.

  10. Ooops barely plays Toontown says:

    Or maybe the dinosaurs were buried under sediment vet rapidly during a massive flood

    But who knows ?

  11. Silent t says:

    similar to a kiss O F D E A T H

  12. ahabtheplant says:

    Fish lips…. AAAAAGH!!!! Nuke it!!! (runs out screaming)

  13. Diseasel says:

    Oh damn. I had mucus and flesh chunks for dinner yesterday.

  14. Gigavolt says:

    Scary bitey things? Ok.

  15. Moonbeam says:

    Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur.

  16. Ryan Brewster says:

    I love SciShow! But my one piece of constructive criticism is, instead of the lengthy intertitles that you read, show images or videos of what you are describing. I find myself reading along but wishing i could see what you are talking about instead. But keep up the amazing work regardless! 🙂

  17. Garrett Ducat says:

    I'm just mostly surprised that I'm 30 years old and i never realized that fish have lips.

  18. greg mcdonald says:

    anyone try listing listing to Randle Carlson? different point of view..

  19. spindash64 says:

    We all know the real answer is that the Allosaurus invented Trench Warfare. By the Cretaceous period, the Theropods had developed a technology that could release a cataclysmic Blast. Of course, there was no way such a device could ever be used….

    …what the frick did I just type?

  20. Curtis McAllister says:

    He said "How did a bunch of scary reptiles just march in there and die" they AREN'T reptiles

  21. Derpster says:

    That quarry was actually a dino ufc stadium.

  22. RedStefan says:

    Will you make a video on the 300 000 years old human fossils found in Morocco it had a lot of modern human features.

  23. Izaiah Florés says:

    Birds, not dinosaurs. Dinosaurs fall into the Archosaur category, including marine reptiles, crocodilians, Pterosaurs, ect.

  24. TheGFeather says:

    Scary bitey things… sometimes scientific jargon is so difficult to make sense of.

  25. Crilbus Bowlingfaggot says:

    I like to believe dinosaurs were actually giant robots that thought they were lizards

  26. r3conwoo says:

    @Hank when are you going to address the TRUTH about FLAT EARTH?!

  27. The Destroyer says:

    How do people know how dinosaurs sound like? Humans were never alive back then. ??

  28. Pixel Pusher says:

    did you say reptiles??????????????????????????

  29. BB-8 says:

    They were having an orgy but they OD'd on Dino Viagra.

  30. Chaitanya Singh says:

    It was a Dino-cemetery or probably a Burial Ritual…. they were following a Religion????

  31. Nicou Feizi says:

    Can you explain what happens when we lose our voice after screaming a lot?

  32. Uranus InBanana says:

    Hey guys tyrannosaurus scarce here.

  33. sumanth achar says:

    what do you guys think of a man having 3 testicles??
    why it appears??

  34. rollinstormz says:

    That fish needs some Burt's Bees chapstick.

  35. Water Under The Bridge says:

    "What's the secret behind my lips you ask? Well, a bit of mucus and coral blue N°5 of course."

  36. आदित्य Aditya मेहेंदळे Mehendale says:

    Congrats on pronouncing ANEMONES correctly ^^ 🙂

  37. luca payet says:

    Allasaurus akbar

  38. canyon buire says:

    do a follow up on the metallic hydrogen episode you guys did in February?

  39. Sophie Robinson says:

    don't let that fish's name get out–i can just see some nimwit naming their kid "Tubelip Wrasse".or maybe a rapper name?

  40. Michael Day says:

    The seasonal pond would be a prehistoric turlough, correct?

  41. eustacia03 says:

    Kiss Of Death!!

  42. DatPiano Dude says:

    Tubelip Wrasse=Dementor

  43. angelinaWHY says:

    3:31 how your lips feel with super matte liquid lipstick

  44. NeonsStyle says:

    Ahhh do you know the size of an Allosaurus? I really don't think an Allosaurus could be washed anywhere unless it was in the sea. The things are as big as a house (8.5m 25ft), which isn't something too conducive to floating down a river or a creek. Since most floods are around 6 to 20 feet deep at their worst, it sorta doesn't fit.

  45. TheDarxide23 says:

    Dinosaurs aren't reptiles. Hank, I expected more of you. 🙁

  46. Oprean Trifan Mircea says:

    as usual in the animal kingdom, if you can't solve your problem with mucus, you aren't using enough

  47. MistaChrisL5 says:

    Please make a tshirt with a T. Rex in a crown that says 'King of scary bitey things'

  48. Jon Threlkeld says:

    There was one flood. Noah's. Case closed.

  49. Alice Red says:

    The captions at 4:12

  50. Synonymous says:

    But who is Sr Foxley really

  51. anewman513 says:

    0:25 – San Diego Natural History Museum

  52. OrcinusDrake says:

    No idea where it was, probably just made up, but I remember seeing in a show that one of these death traps was like deep bog which one dinosaur would get stuck in and die, then scavengers would keep coming along, try to scavenge the corpse(s) then realise that they themselves were stuck and die.

  53. oilage says:

    Kinda sleeping so from the title I thought it was a trap beat that dropped so hard it killed you

  54. FarrierJess says:

    WHO IS THIS SR FOXY?! Their rein of "President of Space" has gone on and on and on!!!

  55. Kayla Casey says:

    they probably just fell in the quarry and then couldn't get out

  56. Raymond K Petry says:

    [00:06] 145 Mya Allosaurus, was preceded by its relative 192 Mya the Cryolophosaurus… proving… evolution does not take a few million years but hundreds of millions of years….

  57. hannah k says:

    Allosaurus- the previous "king of scary bite-y things"

  58. MegaSweetness says:

    ooooo scary bite things

  59. Dalai Ankhbayar says:

    "Long before T. rex, Allosaurus was the king of scary bitey things."
    – Hank Green, 2017

  60. Hibryd7 says:

    "Scavengers stayed away from the big pile of dead bodies cuz they were too nasty."

    Explain to me how that statement makes any sense at all. Not a week ago I watched like 15 different scavengers pick apart a month-old whale carcass.

  61. Da Farmer says:

    Jurassic fight club

  62. Jordan FermentedSoap says:

    Interesting. Seems the Tubelip's lips share a lot of things in common with my grandma's

  63. Finley Biggs says:

    0:33 *Not reptiles.

  64. Victoria says:

    "king of scary bitey things"

    Oh yes, hello new life goals

  65. Dawn Harper says:

    can sr foxly just produce the show already? he practically pays for the whole thing by now.

  66. Raptor draws says:

    maybe allosaurous came to cannibalize it's dead brothers and got stuck, died and attracted more allosaurs

  67. LMacNeill says:

    Eating breakfast while watching… Definitely needed to hear about fish-lip mucus and flesh chunks. Really helps with digestion. ??

  68. MultiMaikimaik says:

    OMG could it be that one of those brasses once scared the s*** Out of me while I was diving when it mistaked my ear for a coral and tried to suck food out?

  69. Robin Mendzies says:

    dayum nature, you scary!

  70. questforbalance says:

    OMG you mean that fossils are created by great floods? never saw that one coming.. j/k

  71. marin1977 says:

    Unlikely "nasty" would keep scavengers away, judging by today's buzzards (incredible immune system).

  72. nathaniel sicard says:

    trey the explainer did a really good video on this

  73. stabulous Koda says:

    king of scary biting things and slimy deep crevice lips on fish..interesting episode

  74. justandy333 says:

    The high density of predatory Dinosaurs found in one place is documented across the world. Some state its due to a form of quicksand, Luring in predators which the get stuck and just add to the attraction. Thus explaining the lack of herbivores.
    Another theory is something somewhat more sinister, Botulism. A fast acting disease that I believe reacts with the nervous system of an infected host, killing it very quickly, And attracting yet more predators. Once again explaining the inproportionate predator – herbivore ratio of a bone bed.
    Just theories I might add but pretty well backed up theories.

  75. Justin Time says:

    Sr foxley is a badass

  76. Jorge Olvera says:

    That Allosaurus animation tho

  77. bearfully says:

    can an apple a day, really keep the doctor away

  78. DoYouWantAFireCookie says:

    Let the bodies hit the pond.

  79. S Codd says:

    How common are such spots where carcasses become deposited down-stream? Are there extant examples?

  80. samuel wheeler says:

    Why does your Allosaurus picture not have feathers?

  81. Víctor H Quiroz Castro says:

    Kiss… Of death

  82. Dan says:

    Scientists are stupid. Clearly this was once the dinosaur farm of the intelligent life forms who roamed the earth before us. When they left, they couldn't take all of the dinosaurs with them in their space craft, so they just left them there, and then they all died. Obviously they erased all other traces of their presence here, but this particular dino herder was lazy and just left them there to die.

  83. T4nkc0mm4nd3r says:

    This grouping of corpses isn't uncommon in geology; rather it is the norm. coincides with universal stories of a world wide flood, forcing animals to escape rising waters, eventually getting stuck in places with many other animals, where they finally died, creating these graveyards we find today.

  84. Poppybouquet says:

    dino orgy

  85. Shelly Hassler says:

    The king of scary bitey things.

  86. Crimes against Art says:

    Hmm… I thought the bonebed came from a dinosaur purge during a drought. This was the last lake, and every animal had to come there, over many years of extreme drought the herbivores ate away the food and starved, the carnivores started eating each other, allosaurs ate all other dinosaurs, allosaurs ate each other, and only after everyone died of rampant disease, starvation, exhaustion and purging that rain came, and buried it. A river of predictable corpses is creepy, but not as interesting as watching everything eat each other.

  87. Taryn says:

    Oh my goodness Hank! The tubelips wrasse paper was written by my partner! We are both marine biology PhD students. I have been such a huge fan of vlogbrothers and SciShow for aaaaaagggggeeeessss so seeing the work of someone I know and love on the show has MADE MY DAY!!! Thanks for showcasing amazing science to the world, DFTBA 🙂

  88. TourAbsurd says:

    The Għar Dalam cave in Malta is also thought to have flooded over many years, bringing several different layers of bones. The layers range in age from 500,000 to 10,000 years old and have included deer, hippopotamus, and dwarf elephants (!).

  89. Nmethyltransferase says:

    Why does ketamine work (whereas memantine fails) for depression?

  90. Chester Gaunson says:

    I four a Dino egg

  91. Jasper Force says:

    random side note… it would be cool to find a dino or other prehistoric animal
    trapped in ancient geyserite/silica/travertine deposits :3

  92. Kevin Benoit says:

    Did anyone else notice the corner of the panel in the top left slowly curling up throughout the video?

  93. Keet Randling says:

    "scary bitey things"!

  94. Keet Randling says:

    "scary bitey things"!

  95. Mojos Bigstick says:

    Shout out to S.R. You rock!

  96. Gitana Maldita says:

    Crazy Youtube.
    I was wondering why I could hear Hank talk but not being able to understand a single word he said.

    Subtitles were automatically in german :facepalmed:

  97. Saurabh Sakpal says:

    It's pretty cool

  98. Anay Singh says:

    What does the god damn fish have to do with a god damn ALLOSAURUS!?!?!?

  99. Mitchell Skene says:

    I figured the Cleveland-Lloyd site was really a ancient animal trap, similar to The La Brea Tar Pits. So I've learned something new today, thanks Sci Show

  100. alisoncircus says:

    Came here for the lip balm jokes. Sadly disappointed; everyone's too focused on the dinos. sigh.

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