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Royal Tyrrell Museum Update #7: Field Results
It has been some time since I brought out an update. Our field season
rapidly approaches its conclusion with a scheduled departure late
August/early September, with a small chance of extension. Here's the latest:
1. Drumheller Ornithomimid. This has now been collected. A bit of a
dissapointment though. There was a tail (contra to previous update), but it
was erosed off at the base. The expected rest of the skeleton turned out to
be a diarticulated mess of ribs and apparently little more.
2. Dinosaur Park Ornithomimid. This has not been pursued pending landowner
permission to excavate.
3. New Tyrannosaur in Dinosaur Park. This was found c. 1992 and Phil Currie
leads a small crew doing and exploratory dig. It is a big animal, but not
the largest that has been found in the Park. It appears most if not all the
gone, dentary and maxilla pieces were down the hill. There is a pelvis and
one hind leg for sure and some ribs. It is hoped a forelimb will turn up.
4. Bonebed 138, Centrosaurus. This is turning out to be the better of the
two bonebeds being worked this summer, with 30-40 bones per square metre
being recovered. It is in a clamshell layer, with all the bones laying a
various angles- some stand almost vertically. Some dinosaur eggshell was
found at this locality. Some of the cranial (skull roof) material appears to
have been fused later in life and thus there is a good chance of finding
some associated cranial remains.
5. Bonebed 47. A multigneric bonebed which appears to be yielding mostly
waterworn bone fragments, despite surface material that suggested otherwise.
Finds of note are a complete baenid turtle carapace/plastron, large
tyrannosaur humerus, complete ankylosaur caudal vertebra with fused chevron
and other minor elements.
6. I have recently found the 7th known Caenagnathus fused dentary specimen.
Got this on August 9th. It is C. sternbergi. The first thing I did when I
picked it up was to immediately sit down as I could not believe my eyes!
This was found during a "nature break"- a time when one is looking for
privacy and occasionally finds out of the ordinary specimens. This will
probably be the find of the summer for me. Have also found a baenid
carapace/plastron, and a trionychid (softshell) turtle carapace. Another
find of interest was a complete hadarosaur radius/ulna (forearm) which had
suffered a transverse fracture of both elements during life which then
healed and fused the bones together.
7. Phil Currie found a disarticulated ceratopsian skeleton on the east side
of the Park. Much is exposed, but no evidence of the skull so hopefully that
is still in the outcrop. FDon't know when this will be collected.
8. Devil's Coulee. Little to report here. Last I heard (a month ago), the
juvenile hadrosaur bonebed was producing only scrappy remains, and that the
crew was going after a nest of hadrosaur eggs.
That's it for now.
Darren Tanke, Technician, Dinosaur Research Program, Royal Tyrrell Museum
of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. Paleo Interests: fossil
identification, collection and preparation, centrosaurine ceratopsians,
Upper Cretaceous vertebrate faunas of North America and East Asia,
paleopathology; senior editor on annotated bibliography of extinct/extant
vertebrate dental pathology, osteopathy and related topics (9,798 entries as
of June 23, 1996).
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