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Jim Kirkland is back from Mongolia



Jim Kirkland emailed this to me and said I could post it on the net.

ENJOY!!!

Tracy;

Just got back from Mongolia.

Before going into the Gobi, I got to see quite a few specimens. One was
an articulated ankylosaur tail with triangular lateral spines just like
in hunting dinosaurs. 

The Flaming Cliffs (Byan Dzak) was great. I found a veloceraptor with
skull the first hour. Then a crushed bird egg. The next day the guys 
thought they had found two proto skulls, and I turned them into one 
large Pinacosaurus skulls. A search revealed 2 additional skulls a bit 
smaller and less ornate. An adult male and two females?? The Japonese 
found 15 associated large juveniles near Tugrigeen Shire. Then I got 
sick. Other finds included many protos (several on their tails) and an 
incredible tiny lizard skull. 

Tugrigeen Shire

        Nice, lots of Protos. A fine large multituberculate skull. One 
protoskull was sitting on a pinacle much like the Prenocephalis skull 
was.The best thing I was involved with was a very large male? proto 
skeleton(very completeand larger than the AMNH skeletons). Most artists 
make the skulls too small on at least the large males. The skull is 
huge relative to the rest of the skeleton its pulled back but it still 
cover the the body from the pelvis forward to over most of the 
forelimbs. Most interesting about this skeleton was that it had 
numerous borings in the bones. The joints, of the limbs, wrist and 
ankles were most effected. This is present in many of the Djadakhta 
specimens from Mongolia and China, but this specimen also preserved 
numerous large insect pupae in these areas and along the tail. These 
pupae are gray calcareous nodules about an inch long and less than 1/2 
inch wide. At first, I assumed thes were simple concretions common in 
the ricks, but their size was consistent and they were concentrated 
where the borings were concentrated.
        I need to contact that forensic entomologist that Salley Shelton
mentioned and run some of this by him. We might do a poster at SVP next
year on it if no one has recognized the pupae before "MAGGOTS IN
MONGOLIA". How far down can a carrion beatle sniff?

Back at the Lab. I got to study the most primitive Ankylosaur skull 
ever ever found from the Bayn Shire. A beautiful skull just prepared, 
with simple narial opening and no secondary palate at all. I drew the 
palate (best skull drawing I ever did) and shot a full roll of film of 
it. Maybe it's Talurus?

A great trip overall. As I'm still not back on the dino listserver feel
free to forward this.

Jim K.