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Field Season Report
Well, where do I begin?
Dr. Sroka has resigned as Executive Director of the Grand River Museum.
This is unfortunate, but by no means a death knell for the museum. For the
time being I am acting as Director, and our programs will continue.
The Grand River Museum field season is going better than it ever has. One
of the field assistants found 3 distal ends of ribs sticking out of a bank,
and after we dug at them a while we found, so far, 10 ribs, the radius,
humerus, scapula, and caracoid of an Edmontosaur. These bones are what
would have been the left front 1/4 of an Edmontosaurus annectens. What
really makes it awesome is that these bones are articulated, or as they
would have been in life. We've never found any articulated material before.
We also worked a site that had we had never dug, but we knew there was
bone, and it turned out to be the right rear 1/4 of a Triceratops, also
articulated. Aside from the Triceratops horridus skull these are the best
specimens we have recovered. It's very rewarding to see the articulation of
a dinosaur in the ground and not a museum display.
To a person our field assistants seem to feel this is the most fun dig
we've ever had.
We have been aware of a second bone bed in our area for some time. The
trouble is this mass death assemblage was on property owned by the Standing
Rock Suiox nation, and leased to our rancher-host. The tribal rep gave us
permission to look at tribal lands but not dig, yet. They, the tribal reps,
are coming down next week and we're showing them "Area51", the name we
assigned to the bone bed. We have been aware of this site for 3 years and
in the aftermath of "Sue" it seemed unlikely we would ever have the right
to work it. A formal collection policy by the tribe is on the horizon. If
that comes thru our small museum will be on the map for sure. We visited
the place last week and we saw baby Edmontosaur jaws no more than 2" long
and nearly intact lying on the surface along with those of adults. More
importantly there are bones from other dinosaurs. There are scutes from
Ankylosaurs, and claws and feet bones from small theropods, and shed teeth
from Tyrannosaurus rex and Dromaeosaurs. Something fantastic happened to
cause all these different dinosaurs to be burried together. Hopefully in a
year or less we will have initial results and be in the planning stage of a
It was really hot last week. It was 112° a couple days. However it has
cooled off a bunch and is under 50° this morning. Hopefully it will stay a
Expect another update about this time next week.
Roger A. Stephenson
Director: Grand River Museum
Lemmon, South Dakota
"Put the bunny, back in the box!"