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Another hike the Cretaceous Badlands of Alberta

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Canadawest

The weather was  a pleasant 20c so great to hike hours in the badlands and perfect to meander through the hoodoos and tackle a few precarious slopes.  Overhead in the clear blue skies there were thousands of birds migrating south.

 

All fossils are catch and release.

 

The Red Deer River.  The river cuts through and exposes various Cretaceous deposits for a few hundred kilometers before joining the South Saskatchewan River. At this site it exposes the Scollard and Horseshoe Canyon formations. Further south the Red Deer exposes the Dinosaur Park and Oldman formations. Other formations are exposed by the Bow, South Saskatchewan, Milk River and Oldman Rivers..

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Canadawest

Lots to explore

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Canadawest

A theropod eroding from the clays under this sandstone cap. Most likely a small Tyrannosaur.

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Canadawest

Wah! This T rex tooth slice was one of the biggest I've come across. Couldn't find the rest of it.  A couple other smaller Tyrannosaur teeth were mostly 'all there'.

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Canadawest

This ceratopsian, probably Triceratops,  lost a humongous tooth and a horn (right, middle of pole).

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Ludwigia

Wow! You could spend more than a lifetime exploring there! Love to get out there someday :wub:

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Kane

A lovely and scenic trip - thanks for taking us along, albeit virtually! :)

 

It just boggles my mind to think there are places like this where the dino teeth and bones are literally quite littered about! 

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Canadawest

These mounds are often contain a lot of dino material.  Could be one dino or a few mixed together. Most likely swept away in some Cretaceous flood.  A variety of vertebrae in the area so possibly a variety of dinos.  Most of the dino material we find is sitting loose on the surface.  These encased specimens are not common on the surface.  The bone that pops out of them can be exquisite.

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More dino mounds

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Dino bone sometimes is covered in orange lichen. For some reason, a disproportionate percent of 'good stuff' can be found like this. I think the lichen gets a better hold on rough surfaces like jaws and scutes rather than smoother limb bones.

 

Limb bones rarely have lichen

 

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Tooth, etc. fragments fanned out across the clay.

 

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Chunks of layered  fossil plant material.  Almost like pages in a book.  Pretty much solid plants. Indication of repeated floods over millenia.

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Some weird anomaly. A mini stonehenge of oval rocks standing on end? Perhaps put together by dino spirits.  Not too clear a photo as late in the day and in the shade.  Excuse blurry photo as hard to access area.

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Prairie falcon nests above. Most of the migrating falcons and hawks are now into Montana. Golden eagles massing up for migration for mid October.

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Some more recent bones eroding out of redeposited clays.  Not sure what they were. At first I thought bison but, upon examining, too slight.  Too big for mule deer. Perhaps pre glacial but...?   Although I'm one myself, I'm not that knowledgeable of mammal skeletons.

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Various dino vertebrae are hither and yon.  Not sure why but not nearly as numerous as in other Alberta Cretaceous formations. Much smaller ratio found to limbs, ribs, etc.  

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There are some huge sinkholes. Perhaps full of monsters.  Perhaps full of dino or bison remains. Someday full of mine if not careful. 

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Fruitbat

Great trip report!  The abundance of fossil material reminds of some places in the Eocene/Oligocene White River badlands of Nebraska/South Dakota/Wyoming.  I'm envious!

 

-Joe

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A few more topography photos.  

 

One way to find Tyrannosaur teeth is by being lazy.  Just sit and wait for a glean of sunlight reflecting off the tooth's enamel surface.  Its like holding a mirror in the sun.  I found one here while I was takin a break stretching  out on the clay.

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goatinformationist

Just keep piling it on.

 

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Canadawest
22 minutes ago, Fruitbat said:

Great trip report!  The abundance of fossil material reminds of some places in the Eocene/Oligocene White River badlands of Nebraska/South Dakota/Wyoming.  I'm envious!

 

-Joe

 

Thats an interesting comparison. I collected Oligocene material in South Dakota in the early 1980s.

 

I find the Cretaceous deposits more fossiliferous but the Oligocene has far more articulated skeletons and especially skulls and jaws.  Dino skulls are nearly always partial and fragmented  and its difficult to recognize the fragments among  the fossil debris. I could hike by a half dozen dino skulls and be hard pressed to see them.  Jaws are rare and with teeth even rarer.

 

 

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snolly50

Thank you for the wonderful account.

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smt126

Just amazing again. I drool over these trip reports 

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digit

Me too--I'll need to take a hair drier to my keyboard. :drool:

 

Thanks again for the vicarious field trip. One day I'd love to experience this area first hand--what a marvel to behold.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Ptychodus04

These reports make my garage even less exciting than it was already!

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