Friday, April 19, 2013

CSI Cretaceous

While we were out digging up dinosaur bones Dr. Alan Titus told us that there is sometimes still evidence in the bones and around the bones of how the dinosaur had actually died.  I  (being a future forensic scientist) found this fascinating. I didn't realize that the same process that we use today to solve crime could solve the mysteries of the dinosaurs. It never occurred to me before that the way  dinosaurs died could be determined in the same way that we solve crimes and events of today!

Sometimes there are bones that have teeth marks in them which tells you that the dinosaur was attacked.   The pattern of teeth marks may help determine if this was the cause of death. The other fossils that are found around the bones and the type of rock that you find the bones in can tell you about the environment that the dinosaur lived in.

The Hadrosaur that we dug up was interbedded with clams, fossil wood, leaves and turtle shell.  The rock was also very clay rich. This told us that it was a probably a lake or pond on a floodplain. We also found a Tyrannosaurid tooth next to the bones.  Maybe our hadrosaur had been attacked by the tyrannosaurid.   More work needs to be done before we can determine this.

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