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Mossback’s Northwest

Where Are All of Washington’s Dinosaurs?

Only one dinosaur bone has been found in Washington. Here’s why.

September 17, 2018

In 2015, scientists found the first — and only — dinosaur fossil in Washington state. It was the partial thigh bone of a theropod — a group that includes raptors, T-Rex, and modern birds. Dinosaur fossils have been found in every state in the west, and Washington has plenty of mammoth, mastodon, and giant sloth bones. Why is evidence of dinosaurs so rare here? Turns out, the answer has a lot to do with an epic geologic journey. To help unravel the mystery, Knute turns to Nick Zentner (aka Nick on the Rocks).



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Eric Keto

From the Oregon Coast to the North Slope of Alaska, Eric enjoys telling stories from the western edge of the country. His nonfiction video work has been featured on The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour and Alaska Public Media.

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Knute Berger

Knute Berger is Crosscut’s Mossback. Born and raised in Seattle, he writes with his own Pacific Northwest perspective. He also writes the monthly “Gray Matters” column for Seattle magazine where he is editor-at-large, and is an occasional commentator on KUOW-FM’s “Week in Review.” He is the author of two books: Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice and Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. He was writer-in-residence at the Space Needle and has had a cocktail named after him at Ivar’s. You can email him at knute.berger@crosscut.com or follow him on twitter @KnuteBerger.

More stories by Knute Berger