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Re: Sandy Site (was RE: K-T mammals)


It is reasonable to be astounded at this "huge" diversity.  The Sandy Site is
conservatively assessed to have:

->6 but <12 theropod genera, including those of uncertain attribution such as
Ricardoestesia, and allochthonous material referable to Aublysodon and
Tyrannosaurus.  The material is scrambled but extremely well-preserved, down to
thin-walled longbones intact and even hollow, complete examples of neonate or
juvenile elements [chirostenotes], etc.  Absolutely pristine preservation of
diagnostic material, so the diversity of small neat theropods is indeed real.
-perhaps two [three?] pachy genera; here there is question as to
splitting/ontogeny/sexual dimorphism.
-perhaps two thescelosaur types; also depends on your penchant for splitting
-numerous unknown ornithischians [3-6?; Russell in Triebold 1997, Bartlett 1999,
Russell 2000]
-typical edmontosaurus and triceratops washed in
-tantalizing ankylosaurid material washed in

This does not include an easy dozen mammals, several crocodilians, champsosaurs,
turtles, herps, birds, pterosaurs and fish; my untrained eye has differentiated
>15 leaf types, and even wood morphotaxa make Sandy one of the most diverse Hell
Creek localities.  Sandy likely includes close to, or even over, half the
vertebrate genera listed for the entire Hell Creek-Lance Formations, before any
lumping exercises shorten that list.

It is getting to press.  My work involves more site taphonomy and less
descriptive taxonomy, but as you indicate the place is rife with interesting
subjects.  Look for many publications in future - my thesis in the NEAR future I
trust.  Makoto Manabe of the National Science Museum of Japan now controls the
collections amassed the first several years, and is doing great service in
bringing its riches to the scientific community.  We aim with Dr. Manabe for a
collaboration breathing life into both the taxonomic and ecological facets of
this marvelous discovery.


Jeffrey Alan Bartlett
Graduate Student in Paleoecology
Assistant to the Director
Center for the Exploration of the Dinosaurian World
North Carolina State University | North Carolina State Museum of Natural 

Box 8208, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8208
(919) 515-7917

Darryl Jones wrote:

> At 03:29 PM 5/12/2002, Tracy L. Ford wrote:
> >At the Sandy Site in South Dakota, there is a huge diversity of the latest
> >Maastrichtian fauna, dinosaurs, etc. But since it's a 'privately' collected
> >site...
> I am still a bit sketchy on this HUGE diversity.  You and I have talked
> about this before.  I got from the archives (August 11, 1998):
>  >The dinosaur count is 10 theropods, 1 hadrosaur, 2 thescelosaurs, 6
> NEW >ornithischians, 3 pachycephalosaurs, 1 ceratopsian.
> Are these figures still accurate?  The hadrosaur and the ceratopsian are
> both fairly normal (Edmontosaurus and Triceratops).  Are the rest definites
> or is it possible that there is some ontogenic variation happening?  10
> theropods is either really cool (if well preserved) or major league splitting.
> I really wish that some of this stuff could be published or at least
> reported on (like I said in the first go round at this, I talked to Mike
> about this at the SVP in Pittsburgh).  It was some great, well preserved
> material.  He was proud of the material (read - willing to talk at great
> lengths about his finds) and really wanted it to be reported.  It is too
> bad that this is a commercial endeavor, or it probably would have been
> published by now (although he SEEMS to be amoung the best of what the
> commercial fossil world has to offer).
> Darryl Jones  <dinoguy@sympatico.ca>
> For information on tyrannosaurids and
> cool activities and information for kids,
> visit my webpage at:
> http://www3.sympatico.ca/dinoguy/