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Downstairs at the Museum of the North


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I had the opportunity to get a behind the doors tour of Alaska’s Museum of the North while waiting for better weather in Fairbanks returning from a caribou hunt. Dr. Pat Druckenmiller, Director and Earth Sciences curator graciously offered his time for a look at what he and his grad students have been doing as well as a look at the collections room. The highlight is the thalattosaur discovered 2011 in Southeast Alaska. This is a new species and was described by Pat Druckenmiller and collaborator Neil Kelley. 
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The detail of this fossil is striking and was beautifully preparer by JPC from the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, WY.

 

In sharp contrast in size is the partial ichthyosaur found in 1950 and recovered in 2002. Pat said it was significant in that the fossil had stomach contents giving information on diet and what was present when this animal was alive.

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The lab had too much to describe here but of interest was evidence found with the dinosaur bones of bird fossil bones and tracks. 
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These are significant in that it pushes back the date of bird fossils.

 

Of interest to me was the collection of ammonites and I could have spent several hours if time permitted looking in every drawer. The highlight was two heterotrophs in concretions.

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The ice age mammal collection is famous at the Museum of the North. For me seeing the mastodon and mammoth lower jaws with their different dentition is interesting with my background as a dentist.  

 

  Mastodon 
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Mammoth

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 Jaw collection drawer for hadrosaur 

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From museum floor display 

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These pictures show how the materials are archived

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From the lab

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From the museum floor displays.

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Hi,

 

Very good visit ! Thanks.

 

59 minutes ago, AK hiker said:

The detail of this fossil is striking and was beautifully preparer by JPC from the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, WY.

 

Hey ! @jpc! :Smiling:

 

Coco

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Thanks for the great impressions! Nice to see that our member @jpc was involved.

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fossilhunter21

Nice visit! That is a lot of awesome fossils!

 

Thank you for sharing,

 

-Micah

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What an impressive visit and nice of you to give us an insight. Imposing collection and beautiful fossils. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks for a very enjoyable look 'behind the scenes'!

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Uncle Siphuncle

Did you get a caribou?  Feel free to PM pics.

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That little thallatosaur was a great project to work on.  Such a cool beast, and I got to go to Alaska; checked off state number 49 for me.  Alaska's most complete vertebrate fossil.  

 

For those interested, Pat Druckenmiller (pictured in a bunch of those photos) is doing a live talk here in Casper next week.  Tuesday evening, 7PM local time, speaking about Alaskan dinosaurs and his team's discoveries on the north slope.    Did I hear you say you are nowhere near Casper, it will be live streamed on Facebook Live.  I am not sure how that all works, but find the Tate Geological Museum's FB page before 7 and you should be able to see his talk.   

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2 hours ago, jpc said:

live streamed on Facebook Live

 

It's only on rare occasions such as this that I almost regret my decision to drop out of that social network, but I'm still sticking to my guns. Any chance of seeing the video directly?

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36 minutes ago, Ludwigia said:

 

It's only on rare occasions such as this that I almost regret my decision to drop out of that social network, but I'm still sticking to my guns. Any chance of seeing the video directly?

I don't know what happens to FB live videos after it is done.  Anyone out there in TFF land know?  

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Just back from another hunting trip in time for the presentation this evening. I too do not “do” Facebook but my wife will log me in on my computer to watch Dr. Druckenmiller’s presentation on arctic dinosaurs. Thank you for the encouraging comments on my museum visit. 

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On 9/15/2022 at 8:57 AM, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Did you get a caribou?  Feel free to PM pics.

PM sent with pictures of the last 2 weeks hunting trips.

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Wrangellian

Nice tour, reminds me of my tours at local museums down here a few years ago (the Royal BC Museum and VI Paleo Museum) - Some similar fossils, some different (not so many big vertebrates down here). Too bad you didn't get a few more shots of the ammonite drawers...  Did you happen to catch the location of origin for those Diplomoceras?

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