Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hadrosaurs! by Rachel Hatton-Ward

The field trip we went on was so cool! It basically combined all of my favorite things, like dinosaurs, camping, and playing in the dirt. We got to see all kinds of bones, tear out a ton of rocks and dirt, a tree, and a bush with a lot of pollen, hang out with awesome paleontologists, and do plenty of hiking and camping. It was great! The bones we found were mostly from Hadrosaurs, and I really thought it would be interesting to learn more about them now after I got to see so many of their remains out in the field.

Hadrosaurs lived during the late Cretaceous Period in areas with warm, wet climates. They had flat "duck bill" mouths that probably helped them chew tough plants, and large crests on the back of their heads. We found a piece of paper that showed that males had long crests and females had shorter, sharper curved crests, but Alan explained to us that that idea was wrong and they were completely different species that lived at different times!

Hadrosaurs were huge, from 10-40 feet long, and they had three toes on their feet. After a full day of digging, we found fossilized toe, it was awesome!

Overall, the field trip was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and I feel like I learned a lot from it. Paleontology takes a lot of patience, but finding bones after searching all day was really rewarding, and I wouldn't mind learning more.

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