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El Dinosaurios



I just returned from two weeks in Patagonia where I was taking part as a
guest in the El Dinosaurio Argentinean-Canadian Dinosaur Project. Team
leaders are Phil Currie from the Royal Tyrrell Museum and Rodolfo Coria from
the Carmen Funes Museum in Plaza Huincul, Argentina. Work continues this
year on the excavation of a multi-theropod site in the region where
Giganotosaurus was found. The group is posting updates every few days to the
Tyrrell Museum web page at
http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/argentina99/index.html. There is some terrific
work taking place down there and I think readers of this list will enjoy the
daily reports.

It is a huge quarry. We spent several days removing overburden from a part
of the quarry that had not been excavated yet. All told, we estimated that
we removed by hand (using picks, shovels, chisels, hammers, and plastic
pails) about 30 tons of rock and conglomerate. Talk about finding muscles
you didn't know you had! The environment is also fairly challenging, with
equal days of rain and sunshine and temperature extremes that ranged from up
to 85 F in the day to below 30 F at night. At least the insects were mostly
in hiding by this time of year, which is Fall down there.

--Thom Holmes
dinosaur writer at large