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Digging Dinosaurs in South Dakota

Hello all,

There was a recent posting regarding the South Dakota School of Mines and
dig opportunities they offer. While these are all quite good I'm sure I
would also like to point out that the Grand River Museum has an extensive
dig program. (Dr. Steven Sroka {Executive Director} and "Dino Russ"
Jacobson {Research Associate} lead the Sundance, Wyoming Jurassic dig for a
few years for the SDSM).

We have been extracting Late Cretaceous fossils from the Hell Creek
Formation for 4 years. This is far from limited to dinosaurs, in that we
have one of the best if not THE best collection of turtles from the Hell
Creek. We have found and recovered part of a Tyrannosaurus rex, a
Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis skull, a 95% complete Triceratops horridus
skull, many different bones of Edmontosaurus annectens, and remains of many
other species of dinosaurs and crcodiles. We also find plant fossils which
range from leaf impressions to actual angiosperm seeds. Ancient life is
preserved very well in the Hell Creek Formation, and where we work marks
the very end of the time of dinosaurs.

This year, if everything works out according to plan, we will offer the
participant a chance to work on a mass mortality bone bed of Edmontosaurus
annectens. We estimate more than 2,500 individuals died in this event and
are all deposited in a narrow horizon no more than 18" thick. We also offer
each participant the chance to be involved in exploration for new sites and
specimens. Yours truely found the Pachycephalosaur skull while on one of
these exploratory walks.

Besides the actual recovery of fossils there are several other factors that
make the experience we offer a memorable event. The night skies in our part
of South Dakota are free of light pollution, and the star gazing is
fantastic. We will be working in the Grand River Valley, and the landscapes
are dramatic. Sometimes the sunsets and sunrises are almost unreal in their
beauty. There is a herd of bison on the ranch where we will be camping, a
safe distance away. Also there is a prairie dog town on the ranch.

Also the participant may expect a behind-the-scenes tour of the brand new
Grand River Museum. This might include access to the prep lab, fossil
storage area, and other places the regular visitor will never see.

The Grand River Museum is a not for profit public institution dedicated to
the preservation of the natural and cultural history of the Grand River
region of South Dakota. For more information about  both the museum and the
dig program visit our web site at <http:www.grandrivermuseum.org>. Beaware
that our web site is under heavy construction. We expect a finished, but
continually evolving, site before our opening in May.

Thank you for your time.

Roger A. Stephenson
Assistant Director
The Grand River Museum
Lemmon, South Dakota