A Place for new discovery, new ideas, and refreshed inspiration

Posts tagged “Cretaceous

It’s a puzzle!

And after a much too long hiatus this dinosaur blog has come out of extinction! Over the last few weeks the volunteer program has exploded in numbers and we are getting through literally tons of material. The pictures you see below are a project being worked on where fragments from the field are being glued back together. A volunteer must test each side of each piece together to see if they fit. 3d puzzles can be extremely difficult, especially when we are unsure if we have all of the pieces, or even if they come from the same animal!

20120307-165521.jpg

20120307-165529.jpg

20120307-165538.jpg


The underside too?

So in last weeks excavation we found and exposed more of the turtles shell! Another exciting find with this is the possibility of a plastron, the underside of the turtle shell that is a bit like a breastplate! A femur or humerus may also be present, but the sediment covering it and my lack in experience with turtles leaves it up to question for now. Let me know what you think of the fossil and if there is anything else you want to see from the lab!

20111129-102048.jpg

20111129-102107.jpg

20111129-102114.jpg

20111129-102125.jpg


Theropod Rib Pathology

This is one of several ribs that were worked on this summer from a Theropod called Daspletosaurus. This cretaceous predator could reach lengths of approximately 8-9 meters and lived between 77-74 million years ago.

The ribs from this specimen are unique in the fact that many of them show signs of healed bone where a fracture had occurred. This is in fact a belly-rib called a gastralia, which were ribs that were suspended in the flesh on the underside of a theropods body.  This shows evidence that the dinosaur injured itself, either through falling or interactions with another dinosaur, and broke several of its belly-ribs. He survived however and the bone healed, producing a large callus where new bone joined the two broken pieces back together

I will be posting more pictures of other ribs up soon, but for now enjoy these few pictures and have fun pondering. How do you think it injured itself? post your answers in the comments below!


Volunteer prep program

Hello again everyone!

With the fall semester at the university of Alberta in full swing, the paleontological society on campus has once again started up it’s volunteer prep program! This program allows anyone with an interest in paleontology to come in and work on fossils that were collected in the previous season.
No experience is necessary and we have volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. This year they are working on Edmontosaurus material from the Edmonton, Alberta area.
The first picture below is just a sample of how many projects are being worked on by the volunteers. The second is of a vertebra being works on by one of the volunteers!
This is an amazing program for anyone interested in the science and preparation of dinosaurs. If you would like more information, let us know. A link to their Facebook group will be posted shortly.
Enjoy!

20111007-092127.jpg

20111007-092153.jpg


Hadrosaur Femur from Field to Lab

The pictures below show the steps of bringing a fossil from the field into the lab. This Hadrosaur Femur discovered during the 2011 field season is currently in the lab waiting to be prepared. It took four people to carry the casted femur from where it was discovered to a road where it could be loaded into a truck and taken home

The fossil is wrapped in burlap and plaster to create a protective cast around it while it is being transported and prepared



New Giant “Phoenix Bird” Rises Again

Check out this link for a story on an absolutely massive bird found by palaeontologists in Central Asia from over 65 million years ago! Its finds like these that help us develop a better understanding of the immense diversity of animals that lived during that time

*image taken from guardian.co.uk*


Pregnant Plesiosaur Discovery!

Check out this link about a 72-78 million year Plesiosaur found in the mid-west of Kansas with a young fetus preserved inside of it!

(image from cbc.ca and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles)


Grand Prairie, Alberta Fossil Dig Attracts Celebrities

Check out this newspaper article for  story on a fundraising benefit held in Grand Prairie, Alberta which was attended by actors such as Dan Aykroyd, Robert Kennedy Junior, Lorne Michaels, Michael Budman, Matthew Gray Gubler and Patricia Cornwell.


Ceratopsian Predentary

The Predentary of ceratopsians was located at the tip of the lower jaw and acted much like a beak for cropping off vegetation for consumption

This ceratopsian predentary was found during the 2011 field season in Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada and was found isolated.