Morrison, Colorado

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The historic Town of Morrison is a Home Rule Municipality in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. The population was 430 at the 2000 census. It is notably where Red Rocks Amphitheatre is located.



In 1877, the holotypic remains of the dinosaurs Stegosaurus armatus and Apatosaurus ajax were discovered in and near Morrison by Arthur Lakes. The majority of these fossils were shipped to O.C. Marsh at Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut. These finds from the Morrison area figured in the 19th century "Bone Wars" between rival paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.

Eventually, the late Jurassic section of sedimentary rock excavated by Lakes was dubbed the Morrison Formation in honor of the town.

The Morrison Natural History Museum in Morrison houses and displays some fossils found by Lakes and has begun reworking Lakes' original digs. In 2006, the MNHM reported rare adult Stegosaurus tracks from the Morrison area. A year later the first hatchling Stegosaurus tracks were reported. These fossils are on display at the Morrison Natural History Museum. [1]

Cretaceous age dinosaur tracks and one of Lakes' historic dig sites can still be viewed on what is now known as Dinosaur Ridge east of Morrison.


Morrison is located at 39°39′6″N 105°11′25″W / 39.65167°N 105.19028°W / 39.65167; -105.19028 (39.651764, -105.190344)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km²), all of it land.

Morrison is southwest of Denver and is located on State Highway 470 and Morrison Road.

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