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TYRRELL MUSEUM UPDATE, DEC., 1996: RESEARCH ACTIVITIES



  My previous Tyrrell updates have concentrated on new finds in the field
and preparation activities in the labs. This update is different and will
review the ongoing and exciting archosaur and dinosaur research being
conducted by staff and students of the Tyrrell Museum. As you will soon see,
we are also very busy in that department. This posting is sort of a "first
course". It will whet your appetite and keep you aware and interested in
upcoming technical dinosaur/archosaur papers being written by staff here.
  Due to my recent computer problems (loss of all hard drive data) I don't
know what number this particular update is. Therefore, starting with this
update, I'm "wiping the slate clean" and will be posting one new update per
month. This update will cover all aspects of our work (preparation,
research, new finds, etc). Such monthly updates will be posted at or near
the end of each month. I want to keep you all abreast of the latest
discoveries as we keep finding them during our field seasons, so there will
have be multiple postings during the summer, which will be numbered so:
June, 1997-1; June, 1997-2, etc., etc. If any ground breaking news occurs
during the non-field season period I may not wait until the end of the month
and post something right away.
 Finally, due to the computer problem, I have lost all my previous updates
so please don't email me requesting back issues. I have nothing to email
anymore. I'm working on having my past and future updates archived on
someones homepage so new/old readers can access and download previous
updates if they desire. Over time such an archive should become a
historically significant document. I had hoped my museum update postings
would encourage other museums to do the same but this has unfortunately not
happened. However, I have received enough thankyous over the past year to
continue posting these updates and to know, you, the reader, find them of
interest. Having said that, you have been reading these updates for about a
year now. What do you think? Any comments on how to improve it? Is there
something I'm not including you'd like to see? Please feel free to advise. 

 1. Dr. Philip Currie.
 Numerous projects.
 #1 on his priority list right now is THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DINOSAURS which he
is co-editing with Kevin Padian. This will be published by Academic Press
and is to come out around April, 1997.  
 Other projects (active and "back burner"), and in no particular order:
 Description of GORGOSAURUS skeleton RTMP 91.36.500. A photo(s) of this will
be on Jeff Polings dinosaur homepage (www.dinosauria.com) in a couple days.
I was involved in the finding, collecting, preparation, and ultimately
placed charge of final preparation and mounting of this find. This was (and
still is) the only dinosaur I have ever mounted (surprising I got away with
this for so long having started with this crew in 1979!). In previous
postings, I had called this specimen ALBERTOSARUS; Phil Currie has looked at
it in detail and now calls it GORGOSAURUS.
 Description of several new DASPLETOSAURUS skulls with R. Bakker. Several of
these still need to be prepared.
 Description of a disarticulated DASPLETOSAURUS skull which I'm currently
preparing.
 Description of Museum of the Rockies DASPLETOSAURUS specimen with Drs. Dave
Varricchio and Tom Holtz.
 Description of a brand new dromaeosaur skull from the Drumheller Valley
Horseshoe Canyon Formation). We have much of the disarticulated skull which
is remarkably "bulldog-faced". It really is quite a spectacular specimen
with the jaws crammed full of nasty sharp teeth.
 Working with Dr. Azuma on giant Japanese dromaeosaur, similar to
Utahraptor. Partial dentary (jaw), metatarsal and a large claw were found.
 Tyrannosaur furcula, working with Peter Mackovicky, now at the AMNH.
 2 separate ornithomimid papers, based on the two currently being prepared here.
 New Late Cretaceous caenagnathid from South Dakota, USA, based on two
distinctive dentary pieces.
 Grande Prairie, AB PACHYRHINOSAURUS bonebed, description of cranial
material, working with Wann Langston (who is no longer an active participant
in this, having done the lions share of descriptive text) and I. This will
be a massive paper. There are over 100 figures of cranial material alone.

 2. Darla Zelenitsky (Univ. Calgary). Several papers in progress on dinosaur
eggs and eggshell structure.

 3. Per Christiansen. (Univ. Copenhagen). Biomechanics of dinosaur limbs.

 4. Mette Rasmussen (Univ. Copenhagen). Hadrosaur forelimbs and hands.
Webbed or encased in a mitten of skin? Handprints/trackways; comparison of
iguanodontid and hadrosaur hand structures vs. the prints they leave behind
in the substrate.

 5. Paul McNeil (Univ. Calgary). Tail stiffening rods in dromaeosaurids.

 6. Richard ?? [sorry Richard, I've forgotten your last name!] (Univ.
Saskatchewan at Saskatoon). A very irregular visitor to the museum, he's
working on dinosaur footprints.

 7. Aase Jacobsen (ex Univ. Calgary), working with Greg Erickson and Tony
Fiorillo on toothmarked dinosaur bone.

 8. Matt Vickaryous (Univ. Calgary/Tyrrell). Ankylosaurid cranial anatomy,
focusing on facial architecture. Also doing writing for upcoming dinosaur
encyclopedia.

 9. Michael Ryan (Tyrrell Museum).
  CENTROSAURUS bonebed (the original quarry- quarry 143 in Dinosaur
Provincial Park, Alberta). 
 Protoceratopsian jaw material from Dinosaur Prov. Park.
 Taphonomy of the EDMONTOSAURUS "Day Digs" site near the museum.
 Also doing writing for upcoming dinosaur encyclopedia.

 10. Clive Coy (Tyrrell Museum). Mesozoic birds from Alberta.

 11. Dr. Dave Eberth. (Tyrrell).
 Understanding the origins of ceratopsian bonebeds in the Late Cretaceous of
the western interior; examining: population dynamics, behavior, migratory
habits, depositional environments and events, taphonomy (how are the bones
being preserved?), a focus on taphonomy to broaden our understanding of
taphonomy in subtropical and warm temperate environments.

 12. Dr. Donald Brinkman. (Tyrrell). 
 Distribution of ceratopsians in the upper Judith River groups;
geographic/stratigraphic distributions; based on teeth and microvertebrate
sites and relative abundance of skeletons in different locations- working on
this project with M. Ryan.
 Size frequency of hadrosaurs and relevance for growth.

 13. Dr. Xiao-Chun Wu. (Tyrrell).
  LEIDYOSUCHUS crocodile ontogeny and individual variations in skull
(submitted). 
 New earliest Palaeocene crocodile from Alberta- just 3 metres abve the
Cret. Tertiary boundary.
 Functional morphology (structure) of major groups of crocodilia worldwide
correlated to geological boundaries.       

 14. Darren Tanke.
  The annotated pathology bibliography continues to occupy most of my free
time at home. This will cover tooth and bone pathology of animals past and
present (domestic animals and modern Man excepted) and related topics.
10,625 citations as of Dec. 21, 1996. Visit the homepage at:
http://dns.magtech.ab.ca/dtanke
Financial support or other assistance is welcomed.  
 Working with Phil Currie on an article describing intraspecific face-biting
behavior in large theropods (especially tyrannosaurids) based on a good
sample of compelling pathological specimens.
 Dr. Bruce Rothschild and I have a paper "in press" which was presented at
Dinofest '96. This is a PACHYRHINOSAURUS skull with a premortem hole the
size of a dinner plate in the size of its' face. Cause and osteopathy of
this spectacular specimen are described. I excavated, prepared and
reconstructed this skull- a cast of which is in Jim Kirkland's travelling
exhibit of ceratopsian dinosaurs (shown at Dinofest '96; present whereabouts
?? Can anyone tell me?). In the floor of the large hole was another hole, so
now it is possible to approach the skull from the RIGHT side, put your hand
through both holes and touch the inside of the LEFT side of its face! 
 Also in press: article on centrosaurine (short-frilled) ceratopsian cranial
ontogeny. Sampson, S.; Ryan, M.; Tanke, D.H. Biological Journal of the
Linnean Society.
 2 other articles have been long "in press". Presented at the 1989 SVP,
these papers addressed the distribution and frequency of osteopathy in Late
Cretaceous hadrosaurs and ceratopsians with postulated behavioral significance. 
 Also fiddling around with a project examining the occurrence and
significance of "extra holes" in ceratopsian frills. Pathological or not?  


  Best wishes for Christmas and New Years.

 Darren Tanke, Tech. I, Dinosaur Research Program, Royal Tyrrell Museum of
Palaeontology.