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Colville River, North Slope Alaska, Dinosaur Fossils Questions
I. Is there any published information about the
how the Liscomb Bone Bed on the Colville River,
North Slope Alaska, was originally discovered
by Robert Liscomb and work done on it bewteen
when it was noted by Mr. Liscomb and when
Dr. Brouwers (USGS) published the 1987
"Science" article about it?
I am wondering why was there such a long period
of time between when it was discovered in 1961
and when the first reports about it were
published by Dr. Brouwers in:
Brouwers, E. M., W. A. Clemens, P. A. Spicer, T. A.
Ager, L. D. Carter, and W. V. Sliter (1987).
Dinosaurs on the North Slope, Alaska: high latitude,
latest Cretaceous environments. Science. vol. 237,
pp. 1608-1610 ?
II. I have seen the bones recovered from the Liscomb
Bone Bed being described as being "fresh" and "unaltered."
However, other web pages, i. e. "DINOSAURS on Alaska's
North Slope" and "Diagenetic alteration of dinosaur
bone" either describe or conclude that these bones
have been significantly diagenetically altered. Which
one of these descriptions is correct?
"DINOSAURS on Alaska's North Slope"
"NORTH SLOPE DINOSAUR FOSSILS
While we might presume that remains more than 65
million years old would have turned to "solid rock"
long ago, that's not true for all dinosaur bones
found in northern Alaska. So far, all recovered
bones are highly mineralized and discolored by
iron oxide, but they still have differences. Some
are relatively light and porous while others are
heavy and dense. The differences relate to the
amounts of minerals, notably silica, which have
replaced what was once living cell matter while
additionally filling in bone pores. In some
specimens, bone cells and pores have been
mostly replaced or filled in by minerals. In
others, just cell walls and little else have
been mineralized leaving many open pores.
Thus, bones with less mineral replacement are
light and more porous than bones with lots of
"DNA STUDIES AND NORTH SLOPE DINOSAUR BONES
So far, no DNA has been found in dinosaur bones of the
North Slope. When they were first discovered in the
1980s, and before they were studied, the relatively light
weight of several bones caused speculation that they
might contain a lot of the original bone tissue from the
once-living dinosaur. Since then, the result of studies
have not supported this idea. Instead, they have shown
that the bones are highly mineralized with none yet
proven to contain recoverable dinosaur DNA or
anything else from the living dinosaur. So is that the
end of the story? Not quite ...."
and "Diagenetic alteration of dinosaur bone"
Refering to fossil bones from the Liscomb Bone Bed, it
"Concentrations of many of these elements are at
least an order of magnitude higher than those in
modern reptilian and mammalian bones. Such data
indicate that significant diagentic alteration
may have occurred in the dinosaur bones."
Is there any published articles that describe the preservation of
these bones in detail?
New Orleans, LA