Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring 2009 Field Excursion to the Grand Staircase National Monument

Dr. Alan Titus, Paleontologist Grand Staircase National Monument invited us back again this year to help out in the field.  Our trip began at the Monument Headquarters in Kanab with an excellent overview of the geology and paleontology of the park.  This was followed by a tour of the prep lab to see turtles, hadrosaurs, crocodiles (dinochampsa?) etc.   

Then it was off to the field.   This year we worked in the Wahweap Formation in the southeastern part of the park.   We stopped to see the relatively new museum near Big Water.  Wish I had a picture of this from the air - it is shaped like an 
ammonoid!    The
diorama inside showed all the creatures that have been found in the park including the hadrosaur we would soon work on.  Our journey into the monument included a stop in the Tropic Shale where we heard tales of plesiosaurs but only saw clams, snails and an ammonoid.   In the Straight Cliffs formation we saw fossil wood that had borings of ship worms!

Day two we headed out to the sites - one Hadrosaur, one Tyranosaur.  We split into teams and worked hard all day to find more of the already exposed tibias.   Team 1 - Alan, Jake, KayeLinda, Renee, and Tyson found lots of plants - water lilies, redwoods, etc, but no more bone.   We did jacket the tibia and carry it out.   Team 2 - Tania, Brad and Scott jacketed their tyranosaurid bone and found its jaw as well.  

What an incredible and unforgettable experience for all of us!  Thanks to Alan Titus and Scott Richardson for including us in your field work.   Snow College is so fortunate to have this opportunity.     We'll be back if you'll have us.

No comments: