UCMP’s summer adventures (cont.)

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Wyoming. Working once again with Des Maxwell (University of the Pacific and UCMP research associate) and a crew of several seasoned volunteers and UoP students, much of the time was spent working on a specific bonebed to expose and excavate the bones of sauropods (probably Camarasaurus). Dave removed a lot of overburden (a jackhammer was required) and mixed a lot of plaster for the jacketing of many bones, including several pelvic elements, vertebrae, and a five-foot femur. This bonebed does not appear to be purely sauropods, as a theropod ischium was discovered in the mix. The bones will be prepared at UoP, but their final destination will be the University of Oklahoma, as part of an ongoing partnership. Maxwell anticipates several more years of work ahead at the site and hopes to have a backhoe available next season.
Tony Barnosky spent the summer trapping small mammals in the northern Rocky Mountain region with Stanford ecologist (and wife) Liz Hadley, and also collecting Pleistocene sediment and rock samples at Porcupine Cave for an ongoing taphonomy project. Sandwiched between that was a detour into the Miocene of the Railroad Canyon area on the Idaho-Montana border, working with colleague Ralph Nichols (Museum of the Rockies). This particular area is of great importance from both paleontological and biochronological points of view, as it contains the most complete section of Miocene rocks known in the region. Tony, Ralph, and their co-workers have been attempting

 

to document the succession of fossil mammals that occur in this area and to tie collecting localities into stratigraphic sections. Also present were Montana geologists Debbie Hanneman and Chuck Wideman.


Porcupine Cave crew
The Porcupine Cave collecting crew: Tony Barnosky, Liz Hadly, daughter Emma Barnosky, and dogs Laddie and Pepper. (photo by Clara Barnosky)

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