The Lance or Hell Creek beds are well exposed on the ranch. Some o the earliest dinosaur hunters removed skeletons and they can now be seen in museums. Three mummified specimens have been removed from the ranch. This was a site that we were eager to test with the XRF in order to discover what sedimentary factors favor mummification. Two days before we obtained data from a site named “Tendonitis” owing to the preservation of soft tendons and skin. At first look both sites appear to have stratigraphic and sedimentary similarities. These data will require rigorous analyses and interpretation. They may prove to be extremely valuable.
thrilled to see it because of the variety of predator and prey animals represented but also because of the clarity of the drag trace of crocodiles and the extensive presence of claw marks! There were prints of birds, crocodiles, T. rex, and sauropods. The trackway is weathering away but the BHI in ill City has a complete mold of it so that it can be studied in the future.
We spent time at a paleo microsite where we were able to collect a variety of dinosaur teeth, bones, fish fecal material, ganoid gar fish scales, etc.
At 2 p.m. we met a professional preparatory and collector at his newly acquired quarry about 6 miles southeast of the Paleo Ranch. His quarry was covered by debris used to cover the quarry after being abandoned by the dinosaur museum in Thermopolis. He had some spectacular long bones of a hadrosaur exposed that had been left under water in plaster jackets. They were in poor condition and decomposing rapidly. We suspect that the geochem was generating sulfuric acidic conditions. The bones and surrounding area were tested using the XRF. Interestingly, this quarry contained abundant ossified tendons just as the two other sites where soft tissues were preserved. We excavated or picked up abundant surface materials there. Scott excavated a hadrosaur knuckle bone just beneath and into the wall where I picked up a hadrosaur vertebra on the surface.
In addition to acquiring data with the XRF, we also recovered a core from the sandstone above the bone bed (lagerstatten).
There were the largest tree-like ironstone concretions I’ve ever seen at this location in the upper Lance. I hope there are decent pictures for you to see.
This was the most challenging ingress and egress for our urban equipped auto 4WD Suburban. Scott had a great time driving!
Todd, our quarry host, joined the group for dinner in Lusk. Everyone was very tired from the day of field work but they learned, and accomplished a great deal of cutting edge scientific geological research.
I am overjoyed to see this group working together vigorously on these projects together! Their enthusiasm is expressed during the day with a hearty animation. They are worn out by the time we get in to write blogs! Each of them is so capable and adaptable to vagaries in the field that I believe they will be very successful in their pursuits. It is really a privilege to watch their tremendous growth in this environment that is new to them. Great Group!!