Save Mongolia’s Dinosaurs!

Hello blog friends! Today I’d like to highlight an important funding campaign that needs your help: Save Mongolia’s Dinosaurs! This campaign is organized by Bolortsetseg Minjin and Thea Boodhoo through the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs; you may have encountered Bolor’s name during the episode involving the Tarbosaurus auction in New York a few years ago, as she was the palaeontologist who initiated the investigation around the provenance of that specimen. Her actions helped lead to the repatriation of that specimen back to Mongolia. She does important work and is a palaeontologist you should know and support!


Bolor and Thea are working to improve palaeontological education in Mongolia by bringing a portable museum to the Gobi Desert, and eventually building a dinosaur museum right in the Gobi itself. Although many of my friends and colleagues may be very familiar with the Gobi as a hotspot for dinosaur fossils, many Mongolians don’t know about the incredible fossil heritage right under their feet or in their ‘backyards’. Mongolia is a beautiful and special place, and Mongolians deserve to know about the spectacular fossils that are known around the globe. Heck, Velociraptor is one of the most famous dinosaurs out there, and hails from Mongolia (even if it the real thing doesn’t quite match its Jurassic Park legacy).


Save Mongolia’s Dinosaurs needs about another $10 000 in the next week in order for them to accomplish the first chunk of their work this fall. If you are one of my palaeontological colleagues reading this blog post and you have visited Mongolia for fieldwork or published on Mongolian specimens, please support this project – you can even consider it a personal favour to me. Mongolian fossils are poached, stolen, and destroyed every year because rich people outside of Mongolia think that owning a Tarbosaurus is cool. It isn’t fair to science, and it isn’t fair to Mongolians.

DSCF3414 - Copy(Phil Currie points out a poached (and utterly destroyed) Tarbosaurus skull at Nemegt, 2007.)

Bolor and Thea are doing important, grassroots work to help stem the tide of illegal fossil poaching and increase palaeontological and scientific literacy in a corner of the world most of us don’t spend a lot of time in. Please send a couple of bucks their way, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. If you aren’t a palaeontologist but are a palaeontology enthusiast, know that your dollars are going to help inspire a love of palaeontology in a new generation of Mongolians!


Zaraapelta thanks you for your contribution and recommends the Pinacosaurus mug contribution perk featuring beautiful art by Emily Willoughby (even if it’s not a Zaraapelta mug).

Previously in Mongolian dinosaurs:

Thoughts on Tarbosaurus, parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, on fossil poaching in Mongolia

My 2010 fieldwork in the Gobi Desert

Mongolian ankylosaurs, including Zaraapelta!

Reflections on Deinocheirus, a poaching story with a happy ending.


A Geology Road Trip through North Carolina: Part 3, Barrier Islands

Well it took way longer to get to the third and final part of this little post series, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re moving ‘internationally’ while preparing for a conference. C’est la vie! Let’s get to it:

North Carolina’s coast is almost completely framed by a series of barrier islands called the Outer Banks. In a sense, NC gets *two* coastlines – the coastline opening onto the sounds enclosed by the barrier islands, and the coast that opens onto the angry angry Atlantic Ocean.


Continue reading