Status på plateosaurudgravningen

Status på plateosaurudgravningen

29.07.2012
Oliver og Nicoles log:

After 9 days of tiring, hard work we finished our excavation at the
Plateosaurus site today. After removing approximately 30 t of very hard
and heavy rock (imbrignated by iron!) with hammer, chisel, and crowbars,
we are happy to announce that we found the remains of several dinosaurs!
Unfortunately, many of the bones could only be discovered while breaking
them, because they were completely embedded in the sediment. Other bones
had already suffered considerable damage due to frost and heavy
weathering. Nevertheless, we were able to excavate hundreds of bones and
to preliminarily identify more than one individual of Plateosaurus and
possibly also another dinosaur taxon. The latter, however, can only be
verified after preparation of the material.
We have found several bones that are still articulated (connected as in
the skeleton), for example some feet with claws or parts of the vertebral
column - neck and trunk vertebrae with ribs and even belly ribs
(gastralia) - a typical feature of dinosaurs. When Nicole was breaking one
rock, she made one of the most important discoveries: a cross-section of a
jaw with two teeth sticking out - a very valuable find for the correct
identification of our dinosaurs. Perhaps there will be even more skull
parts in the big block which we secured from nearby.
After collecting the bones from the blocks, we carefully labeled and
numbered them to make sure that broken bones as well as the bones of a
possible individual can be identified and put together later in the lab.
Unfortunately (or luckily, because we almost have no more space to
transport them), the bone bearing horizon was locally restricted to an
area of approximately 10 square meters. The bones are not accumulated in a
specific layer, but were found over a total thickness of some 70 cm.
Because the slabs have a tendency to break right through the bones, we
have also decided to take the blocks with  the highest density of bones as
large as possible. Now we have ended up with some really heavy loads: some
of the excavated pieces weigh approximately 250 kg and it needs four
strong people to lift them. Fortunately, the helicopter landing site is
downhill from our excavation hole and because Jesper was able to construct
a sledge out of a lid of one of the aluminium expedition crates, we did
not have to carry the heaviest loads ourselves. Dragging them was hard
enough. Now let us hope that our precious heavy rocks will all fit in the
helicopter...


Warmest regards

Oliver and Nicole - Jameson Land Sunday 29th July 2012.