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AlexSciChannel

So over the past few days I was visiting Bozeman from Raleigh North Carolina as I was visiting the MSU campus because I've been accepted to start as a freshman in autumn 2021. And I hope you know what I am trying to major in. I mean you know what forum we're on I don't have to spell it out.

 

Anyway, in that time I managed to spend all day visiting the Museum of the Rockies which is considered one of the Mecca halls for paleontology. Our crazy old boi Jack used to be Prof and curator there before... well you know.

 

My home museum, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences are taxonomic lumpers when it comes to paleontology but they are passive lumpers. They are nothing compared to what the MOR has going on holy snarge I was surprised. I like going to different museums like this because it shows different perspectives based on findings that vary by institution. While I don't agree with a lot of it, it's healthy to expose oneself to different ideas and conclusions. Also I just couldn't help but feel giddy in the midst of all these dinosaurs.

 

I'll update this post with pictures in a few moments...

 

I will also post what the info cards on the exhibits state about each specimen.

 

Here is Big Mike. A metal replica of MOR 555 commonly known as the Wankel although now more known as the Nation's T. rex since the og skeleton's move to the Smithsonian. I spent at least 30 minutes admiring the sculpt of this beautiful beast alone.

 

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Our first is a tibia of a Hadrosaur indet. found in 80 mya rock in Chotaeu, Montana so likely the Two Medicine Formation however this is unique because this is from it's lower strata which we don't know much about that's why it isn't identified as Maiasaura, as that dinosaur lived later.

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Here are some nice trace fossils and geology stuff,

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Here's the Precambrian globe

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Here's how sediments move through time.

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There's dioramas too. Starting with the Cambrian of course with Anomalocaris and working our way up.

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Here we're getting some Ordivician and Silurian description,

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Devonian like creatures. Although Coelocanths first evolved 400 mya they live all the way up to the present day.

 

Stethocanthus below

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Next we start going in depth into the dinosaurs

 

more updates coming stay tuned...

 

 

Edited by AlexSciChannel
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Tidgy's Dad

:popcorn:

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If you want to see a Torosaurus labeled as such, feel free to drive down to Casper to visit the Tate Museum after you get settled in.  

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Wayan Man

MSU is a great school. I did my PhD there as a paleo student. The Oryctodromeus skeleton on exhibit there is my dinosaur child/project :-)

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Mainefossils

I guess this one is popular... 

 

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

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AlexSciChannel
3 minutes ago, Wayan Man said:

MSU is a great school. I did my PhD there as a paleo student. The Oryctodromeus skeleton on exhibit there is my dinosaur child/project :-)

That's so awesome and great to hear. I am glad I can go on this adventure so far from home. Hopefully I will try for a PhD perhaps but one step at a time.

 

And yes I've seen the Oryctodromeus skeleton/sculpt. I'll be posting the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous pics soon.

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AlexSciChannel
Posted (edited)

Here it gets juicy. Our first Geologic map of fossil bearing formations in Montana. My favorite personally is the Judith River Formation.

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North America 77 mya

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I would also like to add this was near the open glass area of the lab and it was around here actually that I met with a paleontologist talking to the public. We spoke and he told me how to make connections through the DLS (Dead Lizard Society) at MSU. His name alludes me at the moment as our encounter was brief but useful nonetheless. Calling back today to see if there are any volunteering or internship opportunities for research.

 

I also have an open glass lab at the NCMNS and is noticeably bigger than the one at MOR but I suspect they got a bigger room in the back.

 

Here was what was on display in the open glass lab today:

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Troodon eggshell

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More about Troodon,

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One thing I'd like to note is that throughout the museum, Troodon formosus is regarded as a valid taxon found within the Judith River and Two Medicine Formations. This is interesting to me as it is mostly contested whether it is dubious or not in the overrall community. Here we start to show which taxonomic biases can be attributed to which institution. And to be clear I agree with the MOR's assessment of treating Troodon as a valid genus.

 

 

Plesiosaur Skull found in Edgar, Montana in the Thermopolis shale 140 mya.

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Before I show the next pic I just want to state that when I used to live in Queens, NY as a small child, going to the American Museum, my favorite dinosaur from my dinosaur books was this next species. I can't help but love this perfect symbol tying nonavian dinos and aves together.

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More posts coming, don't go away....

 

Edited by AlexSciChannel
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@AlexSciChannel

 

If your images are not actually uploaded to TFF, then they do not display for many members.  Further, when the links are inevitably corrupted, your educational topic becomes meaningless.  :(

 

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AlexSciChannel
Posted (edited)

I think we all know who these signs are for <_<

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Prepare for whole lot of signage

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Fossilization process,

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Here we get a more detailed Geologic map of Montana with more types of rock instead of fossil bearing sedimentary. However the key of the map is immaculately small so sorry if it's hard to see,

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How Sediment chemistry affects color of fossils. This can also help identify which formation a fossil was found.

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All about the span of Geologic time. Always love these detailed layered time map

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Jurassic and Early Cretaceous hall.

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Here we have a site hypothesized to be a death trap site of juvenile Diplodocus. I am not well versed in Jurassic specimens so whoever is, does this idea of a mud trap for MOR 715 still hold up today?

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Here we have a massive Sauropod caudal vertebra. The text may be hard to read so I wrote it down,

 

Tail vertebra of a sauropod from North-central Wyoming MOR 957-6-28-93-87 Collector Bob Harmon and the 1993 Field Crew

 

Land: BLM, Big Horn County, Wyoming

 

This vertebra is from the base of an adult sauropod tail. In life, this vertebra was completely encased in muscle and tendons. Studies of tendon attachment sites (locations where tendons attached to bone) indicate that sauropod tails were held parallel to the ground, not at a downward angle as early. renderings indicate. DINOSAUR VERTEBRAE AIDED IN BREATHING! Although adult sauropod vertebrae are enormous bones, in life they were very light for their size because they were filled with air pockets Sauropod and theropod vertebrae were constructed set of flexible air sacs that act like bellows of very thin blades of bone that protected the to move air through the lungs. Airflow across nerve cord and also held air chambers thought to have been connected to the lungs in some way. This means that there is always some static air in mammal and reptile lungs. When birds breathe, however, they rely on a the respiratory surfaces of bird lungs is uni directional and nearly continuous. The ventilation system of birds is much more efficient than that The air chambers found in the vertebrae of of mammals and reptiles. these dinosaurs are similar to those found in bird vertebrae, so scientists hypothesize that sauropods The air sacs found in bird vertebrae make their and theropods breathed like birds rather than skeletons much lighter than reptile and mammal like other reptiles or mammals. skeletons, and scientists think that the skeletons of sauropod and theropod dinosaurs were much as well.

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Bird/dinosaur respiratory system,

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Ok guys, here's our first growth series. Not as controversial as the coming ones but it's something. This is of Diplodocus hind limb growth. Here is the first mention of histology in the museum and yes I know about the recent Holtz paper stating histological methods may not be the most accurate for measuring age.

 

The last bone in the series is of a fully grown adult sauropod which is implied to have been different from Diplodocus but it isn't clear. This size would've been absolutely massive.

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I'll be back with more juicy Sauropod stuff. And Allosaurus perhaps...

 

hold on a sec I'll fix the problem just wait

Edited by AlexSciChannel
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Troodon
10 minutes ago, JohnJ said:

@AlexSciChannel

 

If your images are not actually uploaded to TFF, then they do not display for many members.  Further, when the links are inevitably corrupted, your educational topic becomes meaningless.  :(

 

 

 Exactly what I'm seeing or not

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I can see all the photos except those in this last post.  Whazzup?  

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AlexSciChannel
8 minutes ago, jpc said:

I can see all the photos except those in this last post.  Whazzup?  

Try reloading it now

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5 minutes ago, AlexSciChannel said:

Try reloading it now

That works, but one must wonder still... whazzup?

Ibn any case, looking forward to more pix of the MOR.  

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AlexSciChannel
1 minute ago, jpc said:

That works, but one must wonder still... whazzup?

Ibn any case, looking forward to more pix of the MOR.  

dummy me didn't upload the pics to the actual forum.

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Posted (edited)

In this next part we get some more Sauropod material and also everyone's favorite new species of Allosaurus as well as the celebrity that reps it.

 

This Sauropod specimen is fascinating because it is though to be an entirely new genus of Diplodocid sauropod known as the Livingston Sauropod. The specimen is MOR 682 and the neck and head are on display at the MOR. I've posted a picture of this part in my introductory pic in the Jurassic hall. It is the Sauropod standing on top of the glass cases behind the femurs. Here are the Caudal and Dorsal vertebra. Also did I mention this individual is a juvenile at 10 years old out of 35 total.

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General Jurassic Fossils from Montana, including Diplodocids, Allosaurus, Camarasaurus and Stegosaurus.

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Stegosaurus skull and thagomizers. God I love saying that word. I know for some reason Stegosaurus has some of the most dedicated fans. Personally I don't get the hype but sure go wild.

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This next section will focus purely on the BBC superstar dinosaur himself and the fossil of which multiple pathologies document his/her tragic life. Big Al! The original

 

Here is a cast of the medial view of a maxilla of Allosaurus fragilis which is not Al's species. Al was Allosaurus jimmadseni. I presume they displayed this maxilla as a way of comparison.

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And here is big Al's skull no cast all real fossil. Compare the difference in maxilla shape. Al's specimen number and location are the second photo below.

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The comparison shows that Allosaurus fragilis possessed a more rounded maxilla resulting in a taller snout and slightly more robust skull. Allosaurus jimmadseni is unique in the way that it's maxilla's outline has a noticeably concave edge on the anterior end of it's silhouette. This is compares to the slightly convex presentation on the same edge in A. fragilis.

 

 

Next is Al's pathologies, which anybody familiar with his documentary know are numerous however they aren't limited to the ones shown in the doc.

 

We have the ones everyone knows.

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But other segments of Al's skeleton also show abnormalities in the dorsal vertebrae, phalanges, and metatarsals.

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The exhibit on Al is extremely detailed on Al's life and his multiple injuries. Very fitting for a celebrity dinosaur,

 

I'll put a typed description as well as a picture of the info,

 

BIG AL

Skeleton of the Jurassic meat-eater Allosaurus (AL-oh-SOR-uhss) fragilis                        
"Big Al" MOR 693 Discoverer Kirby Siber, 1989
Collector: 1991 MOR Field Crews Land: BLM, Big Horn County, WY

                                                                                                                                    SIDE NOTE: Yes I know they state on the infobox that Al is an Allosaurus fragilis, however I do not know if this is a problem of the sign being dated or the scientists not recognizing A. jimmadseni as valid. The latter is a possibility as a paper by Kenneth Carpenter called into question the existence of this species based on morphological variation surveys in the Cleveland Lloyd Quarry. If anybody knows, does the MOR officially recognize Al and his sequel as a separate species or are they a lumpy boi on this one too?

 

Allosaurus was a common meat-eater during the Jurassic Period, and its teeth are often found around the carcasses of sauropods. In some locations Allosaurus skeletons are found in abundance, suggesting that these meat-eaters were social feeders.
Recent histological studies indicate that Allosaurus individuals the size of Big Al were from 13 to 15 years of age, and that the upper age limits of Allosaurus were between 22 and 28 years. Even though the specimen is called Big Al, it is not a particularly large or old individual.

 

SCIENTIFIC PAPER:
BYBEL, K. J. LEL. A HAND LANDLE-E1006 SIZING THE JURASSIC THEROPOD DINOSAUR ALLOSAURUS: ASSESSING GROWTH STRATEGY AND EVOLUTION OF ONTOGENETIC SCALING OF LIMBS.  JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 1671 147-150.

 

ALLOSAURUS FEEDING BEHAVIOR
Studies conducted on this Allosaurus skull suggest that Allosaurus might have been a "slash killer," opening its mouth wide and slashing at its prey with its teeth. To determine this, the skull was CAT-scanned to create a meshwork of points that could be analyzed to learn how tension and compression would have affected the skull during feeding.
This method, called Finite Element Analysis and usually used by industrial designers, provided evidence to indicate that Allosaurus did not have a strong bite compared to other meat-eaters such as Tyrannosaurus rex. Scientists determined that Allosaurus had a weak bite, but a very lightly built, extremely strong skull. The hypothesis is that Allosaurus slashed at its prey with its mouth wide open.

 

SCIENTIFIC PAPER:
RAYFIELD. £. 2. NORMAN, D. B., CELESTE C, HORNER, J.R., SMITH. P.M.. THOMASON AND UPCHURCH,10101. CRANIAL DESIGN AND FUNCTION IN A LARGE THEROPOD DINOSAUR. PUBMED.

 

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And now for some photos of Al posing like a badass.

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Next is Early Cretaceous fossils....

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Wrangellian

Great tour, thank for taking us along. I like the early/geological displays as much as the dinosaur stuff.

I have to wonder, though, how mistakes like "North American 77 million years ago" and the Early Cretaceous "130-110" and Late Cretaceous "80-74" mya got through on those signs, and if those got by, what other mistakes are there? Some may be just typos, but you make typos in an email or a TFF post...

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AlexSciChannel

I know I haven't posted more of this trip in a while so here we go. Continuing the tour.

 

A pic of Big Al from above.

 

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Another two specimens they were working on in the lab were two Hadrosaur femurs from the Two Medicine Formation.20210829_152218.thumb.jpg.205a9da3cf4cb74b95c8811443fba03d.jpg

 

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On the high view where I took the pics of Big Al were some cool specimens.

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Tyrannosaur tibia as well as an example of histological cross section.

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Orodromeus and it's foot.

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Next we have skeletal comparisons of non avian dinosaurs with birds. Including sick Deinonychus material.

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Next we're moving on from the Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous formations of Montana and Wyoming. The Cloverly and Kootenai formations.

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Here depicted are ossified tendons preserved on dinosaur tails. This not only dismisses the notion dinosaurs dragged their tails but that they were floppy when they were in fact muscular and rigid.

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More Deinonychus material

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One thing I was really surprised about was just how common Tenotosaurus was. There were at least 3 specimens on display in the Museum.

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Mid Cretaceous map

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sculpt and skeleton of Deinonychus hunting a Tenotosaurus.

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Specimens of the individuals above.

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One of the few exploding skull exhibits there is.

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Here we have the introduction to Oryctodromeus (more on this little fella later). And mystery egg shells from the Mid Cretaceous that likely belonged to a large Caegnathid dinosaur similar to Gigantoraptor.

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Next we'll go over Oryctodromeus..

 

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