Utah family finds dinosaur bones

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 16, 2013

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah  -- An Eagle Mountain family made a gigantic discovery last week while digging in the desert in south-eastern Utah.

The Watt family calls the trip their annual “Rock Hounding” excursion, and this year they found dinosaur bones in the San Rafael Desert.

Tim Watt said he and the young children discovered the bones.

"When my nephew brought them to me, I knew they were dinosaur bones and they were big,” he said. “So, I knew there was something there. So that's when we decided to get the kids involved and expose this.”

Aimee Gordon was there as well, and she said it was special moment for the children.

“The kids were just so quiet and just watching in detail, and their eyes were all big,” she said. “As soon as he uncovered that first vertebrae, everyone was like (gasp)... and it was so cool."

Amanda Watt said the discovery was one of massive proportions.

"It's huge, I mean each vertebrae is about the size of a child's head,” she said. “I mean, it's huge. So just knowing that this is a tail, you know there there's a huge dinosaur on the other side of this.”

The family went as far as they could before calling in the experts, like State Paleontologist Dr. Jim Kirkland.

“The Watts did a real nice job,” Kirkland said. “They uncovered it carefully. They stopped before the thing was very exposed, so they could tell there were multiple bones. They stopped when they needed to stop. Very often, people keep digging and end up destroying what they're uncovering, and that's very easy to do."

Amanda Watt said it was a great experience to work with an expert in the field of paleontology.

“We were really excited that we got him involved and that he's excited,” she said. “Because you know it's important when the top paleontologist of the state says, 'That's awesome.’”

Tim Watt said he has been searching for dinosaur bones since he was 5-years-old, and he said he hopes the find will inspire kids to hunt for dinosaurs.

"I'm hoping it will do something like that,” he said. “Kind of light a fire under them, get em going. You know, that'll be great. That's why I do it, to get these kids involved and get them away from the computer and stuff like that.”

Kirkland went to the site to examine the bones this weekend. The Watt family is hoping to learn what kind of dinosaur they uncovered soon.