SVP in SLC

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This year’s SVP in Salt Lake City was chock full of exciting dino stuff. My first visit to the Natural History Museum of Utah since its move to a brand-new building (I last visited in December 2008, just prior to its move) during the conference’s opening reception was a real treat. Utah has such a great fossil record for dinosaurs, and it was awesome to see new takes on old classics like this Ceratosaurus – take note of the osteoderms running down the midline of the spine! Continue reading

Fossils in Disguise

 

As July progressed into August and we neared the end of our field season, it was time to start hauling blocks back to camp and closing down quarries. This is Suicide Hill, a spot I didn’t work at very much but which contains lots of juvenile Eolambia. Lindsay has a great system for bringing large blocks back to camp with people-power only, since we cannot use vehicles at many of our sites. We strap them with ratchet straps to a backboard (or what everyone else was calling a sled, but it’s a backboard guys! We were totally prepared for spinal injuries!). This way, 4-8 people can lift large jackets with relative ease and less potential for back injury. I think this jacket was somewhere over 500 pounds.

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Fortunate Son

Elsewhere in the Mesozoic, parts of the field crew were working away at Cretaceous dinosaurs in the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation. In may we worked at Crystal Geyser Quarry, which is in the Yellow Cat Member of the same formation and is about 125 million years old, in a part of the Cretaceous called the Barremian. In contrast, the Mussentuchit Member is about 98 million years old, or Cenomanian in age. The Cedar Mountain Formation is a giant unit of rock, and the dinosaur faunas changed dramatically throughout!

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Another new Korean dinosaur!

I’m happy to announce the publication of another new Korean dinosaur, Koreaceratops, by my friends and colleagues Yuong-Nam Lee, Michael Ryan, and Yoshi Kobayashi.


This little fellow was actually discovered very close to where I spent much of my summer this year, at Jeongok Harbour in Hwaseong-si (somewhat close to Jebu-do). Koreaceratops is diagnosed by some features of the ankle as well as the tall, deep tail. It’s a beautiful specimen even though it lacks a skull – here’s hoping that a head is found sometime!
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Edmonton’s Sewersaurus

I was in Mongolia when this story originally appeared in the news, but I like it too much to not mention it here on the blog.

Last August, Edmonton city construction workers were digging a new sewer tunnel when they discovered dinosaur bones! My fellow ankylosaur worker Mike Burns, and Don Brinkman from the Royal Tyrrell Museum helped out at the site for about two weeks, excavating bits and pieces of Edmontosaurus and Albertosaurus. In particular, some awfully nice Albertosaurus teeth were found.

Image from the Edmonton Sun.


Mike has mentioned that it was a lot of fun to get lowered down into the tunnel each day. I suspect this was quite an unusual excavation experience – we don’t usually work deep underground when digging up dinosaurs!

Overall, the material looks quite similar to a bonebed we’ve been excavating in the south of Edmonton for the last several years – dark black shales, and dark black bones. There’s a good chance there’s dinosaurs underneath us everywhere in Edmonton, but they’re covered up by trees and roads and buildings and such.

Recent update in the Edmonton Sun.

Original articles at the National Post and CBC News.

A nice slideshow can be seen at the Edmonton Sun.

And there’s a short video about the find at the Toronto Star.

Koreanosaurus, a new basal ornithopod from Korea

After spending two months in Korea this summer I can’t miss mentioning the following paper:

HUH, M., LEE, D.-G., KIM, J.-K., LIM, J.-D. & GODEFROIT, P. (2010): A new basal ornithopod dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of South Korea. – N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Abh., DOI: 10.1127/0077-7749/2010/0102; Stuttgart.

Abstract: The Seonso Conglomerate (?Santonian – Campanian, Late Cretacous) of Boseong site 5 (southern coast of Korean Peninsula) has yielded well-preserved postcranial material belonging to a new taxon of ornithischian dinosaur, Koreanosaurus boseongensis nov. gen., nov. sp. This dinosaur is characterized by elongated neck vertebrae, very long and massive scapulocoracoid and humerus, proportionally short hindlimbs with a low hindlimb ratio for tibia/femur, and anteroposteriorly-elongated femoral head forming an obtuse 135° angle with the femoral shaft. Koreanosaurus displays a series of neornithischian synapomorphies. Amongst Neornithischia, most features of the postcranial skeleton suggest affinities with basal ornithopods and, amongst them, particularly with a small clade formed by three genera from the Cretaceous of Montana: Zephyrosaurus schaffi, Orodromeus makelai, and Oryctodromeus cubicularis. According to the morphological, phylogenetic, sedimentological, and taphonomic data at hand, it is tentatively postulated that Koreanosaurus was a burrowing dinosaur, like Oryctodromeus.

A long list of dragons.

Lots of Chinese dinosaurs often incorporate the word ‘long’ into the genus or species name – Banji long (an oviraptorid), Beishanlong (an ornithomimosaur), Dilong (a tyrannosaur), Guanlong (another tyrannosaur), Mei long (a troodontid), Qiaowanlong (a brachiosaurid), Shaochilong (a carcharodontosaurid), Tianyulong (a heterodontosaurid), Yinlong (a ceratopsian), and Xiongguanlong (yet another tyrannosaur). I’m sure I am missing some, but you get the idea. China loves their dragons. Growing up I was a huge, huge fan of dragons of all sorts (perhaps resulting from my love of dinosaurs), and so it was really excellent to see so many varieties of Chinese dragons during my stay in Beijing. Here’s a few of my favourites and where I found them.

Turtle dragon at Bei Hai Park.
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