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Rested hadrosaur digger(upper hell creek form.)
Hello dino lovers,
Well, after a few days back at work and out of the sun, I feel compelled to
relate our experience in NW South Dakota.
Let me begin by saying the whole experience was a mix of heaven and hell.
With temperatures well over 100 degrees F. the risk of heat stroke was real.
Dehydration was a constant threat, and even with SPF 50 sunscreen we baked.
This dig was not for the faint or those seeking a vacation, ( although I used
up my vacation time). However we found bone, bone, and more bone. So much
bone we had no time to recover even half of what we located. A dinosaur
treasure trove of bones. The most encouraging thing of all was the fact that
the evidence points toward a mass of overbank deposits. In my humble opinion.
We recovered 16 major bones of what seems to have been an Edmontosaur at our
main site, And left more in the matrix. Lignitic clays and thin layers of
coal were the major part of the matrix, with small hunks of amber scattered
randomly both above and below the coal layers. The bone was in remarkable
condition, on the whole, and seemed to be actual bone and not a meneralized
representation. Very different from the Morrison formation where the bone is
black and hard as marble.
We discovered the dig by my ignorant statements concerning a pay-to-dig on
this very list. I got flamed, sort of, by Russ Jacobson for not knowing of
which I spoke. I'm glad I did. I learned more in that week than many full
semester courses. I think there will be another expedition to this area next
year, so when Russ gets back in a couple weeks, (he's at Sundance, WY for the
next two weeks) you make ask him directly. As long as you don't take my
place, are willing to work like a skilled mule, and can withstand a hailstorm
in a tent, you may just have a chance to get filthy every day for a week.
(Which that week may be extended next year).
For those concerned as to the final resting place of the bones, they will
reside at the University of Illinois Museum of Natural History. Yes the
actual bones will be on display, and I agree with that. I do not feel a cast
of these bones could relate the wonderful luster and warmth of what was once
a very alive dinosaur. In other places, with other bones, casts might serve
well. Since it is not my choice please don't flame me for Steve Storka's
effort to enrich their displays. (Steve works for the U of I).
In closing I want to thank Russ Jacobson, Steve Storka, the ranch owner's
family, and all the other co-diggers that suffered right along with my wife
and myself. It makes me wish I had studied something other that religous
education, and got in better shape before this dig. Oh yeah, I wish I'd
bought a beach umbrella too!
I think I've covered most points lightly, and if you want to know more, or
flame me, please do so off-list, as I've sucked up enough space as is.
Roger A. Stephenson firstname.lastname@example.org