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Paleoworld-101

This report is a bit late, but better late than never! During late July through to mid August 2018 i was on a research trip to study a new Canadian dinosaur footprint site for my Masters degree project. I am based in Australia, and this was the first time i had been to Canada! So of course i had to make the most of it and pay a visit to the world renowned Dinosaur Provincial Park in southern Alberta, arguably the richest site in the world for dinosaur fossils. The park is the best exposure of the Dinosaur Park Formation (which it is now named after), which dates to about 76.5 million years ago during the mid-Campanian.

 

I had long read about this location and watched it on documentaries for so many years growing up as a kid. Finally being there in person was very surreal! I was quite lucky and managed to go on a long, extended walk through the park with one of the guides for about 6 hours in total. In this relatively short amount of time i observed so many amazing fossils. I must have been completely desensitised within the first 30 minutes! It really is incredible how much fossil material there is lying all over the park. In Australia, whole scientific papers are written about isolated or fragmentary dinosaur bones, yet here they were just lying everywhere!

 

The pictures really speak for themselves. As said, all of these fossils were observed in the field during a single days visit to the park. As this is a World Heritage site, nothing was taken, all finds were put straight back onto the ground after i took these photos. It's a VERY hard thing to do, but rules are rules. The only thing that was removed from the park on my trip was my best find of the day... a near-perfect 5.3 cm tyrannosaur tooth from Gorgosaurus!!!! This find was too special to leave behind, so the park tour guide GPS marked the location and brought it back for display, likely at the visitor centre or as a demonstration piece for their guided tours. To say that i have found a tyrannosaur tooth is a great honour! You may remember it from the July 2018 VFOTM poll.

 

Without further ado, here are the pics! It is going to take multiple posts to fit them all in, so scroll all the way down to see them all!

 

 

 

Various dinosaur vertebrae. Everything from hadrosaurs (duck billed dinosaurs) and ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) to theropods (two legged meat eaters) and ankylosaurs (armoured dinosaurs). These were so common! I would probably pick a new one up every 5 minutes or so. 

5bbda2d234322_Vert12.JPG.bd1a0c0f4cbbb4114617e4d424d7882a.JPG

5bbda2d4cbfb8_Vert13.JPG.e5f496c84dd13c2d87fb5b1a797bfafa.JPG

5bbda2db1fa29_Vert14.JPG.819c7aee18671d65e3fe32a1cba87c5b.JPG

5bbda2e5b0eb1_Vert15.JPG.3ecce5e30581709aa3e89e18cfebb920.JPG

5bbda2ec581da_Vert16.JPG.a7bafee76af4f100a24399db089762dd.JPG

5bbda2ee79bc1_Vert17.JPG.67e54a7dd35d446ac7d3de8b88ccfe5f.JPG

5bbda2f611ec2_Whatisthis....JPG.bf5592aa6a37ca9d44911fcac8671cb3.JPG

 

 

Ankylosaur tooth

5bbda2cfc8d8d_Ankylosaurtooth.JPG.012ae5069311073ae6e1f824f7fd492f.JPG

 

 

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Paleoworld-101

More fossil vertebrae! I can't get enough of these! Most are dinosaur, but some of the smaller ones may be champsosaur?

5bbda4c30ed61_Vert4.JPG.f2b5787029cd9b9bf22c1912d8eb01a9.JPG

5bbda4c56862a_Vert5.JPG.7f0c353753b5704cd8f025c6920eb30f.JPG

5bbda4c796da6_Vert6.JPG.0a6edbc3e5e8695b677b6418be5ebe2f.JPG

5bbda4c9c50cf_Vert7.JPG.341d7de4c6946810f81880d94816a297.JPG

5bbda4cd9c2e0_Vert8.JPG.3811a119698f18f32e8fcd1968f58131.JPG

5bbda4d4dd71a_Vert9.JPG.2d211723c07ce56913b61c1022b516a1.JPG

5bbda4d75ff0b_Vert10.JPG.e45d67de78c703ddf48fb9e7be79f1c1.JPG

5bbda4de2a335_Vert11.JPG.854068c7967cff3f9da1351775cdc7fb.JPG

5bbda5134acaa_Vert1.JPG.0d4914eeaedc594cc613a3f2f65bfc66.JPG

5bbda515a4158_Vert2.JPG.d26a354a00de02e7fd9896bb9632aa23.JPG

5bbda51b4b209_Vert3.JPG.b95d997efbb667b94d864bd34fd3f7d2.JPG

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One last vertebra. This one is special, it's a beautiful large tyrannosaur vert from Daspletosaurus ! This was the top predator in the ecosystem. 

5bbda5fc8556e_Tyrannosaurvert(omgright).JPG.b5d97437e33e880af4edb7285e0c3be2.JPG

 

 

A tyrannosaur tooth still in-situ. 

5bbda5f6a6f8f_Tyrannosaurtooth.JPG.4a37eb77b28d56e2e65440df39ea34f8.JPG

 

 

 

Another small shard of theropod tooth. 

5bbda5e6ee854_Theropodtoothshard.JPG.b947010a2baf910356ec2c531cd979d4.JPG

 

 

 

Two large dinosaur sacra (fused vertebrae from the hip region)

5bbda5ddcb786_Sacrum1.JPG.ce12999dbe0bcf0bbdcad9716b75c00c.JPG

5bbda5e515092_Sacrum2.JPG.0db5ae02c655fa6bc8f936ab48dc46a8.JPG

 

 

 

Dinosaur ribs

Rib.JPG.ac1d560d3fda7a3e6e36ed4138123f4a.JPG

Ribs.JPG.119d86201e82875ef05b4a0d8dc5bfcb.JPG

 

 

 

Turtle shell fragments from Trionyx

5bbda5f05cd88_Turtleshell2.JPG.49896b1d21385b6b979dd332dabbdf4c.JPG

5bbda5e9451d7_Turtleshell1.JPG.06b03cc2d5b8f98ceae89d24912db76d.JPG

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A femur eroding out of a hillside. 

Femur.JPG.d7f506d7b674b8acddd83f2672d03573.JPG

 

 

 

Hadrosaur jaws

5bbda75fe92c5_Hadrosaurjaw.JPG.701c005c17e769326734a5f5d08158ce.JPG

5bbda758b66f1_Hadrosaurjawfragment.JPG.8156c61b6aeca7dc3938edc76381c2b8.JPG

5bbda75646f09_Hadrosaurjawfragment2.JPG.03c917bf2b541b22cdbe3d3a0f058896.JPG

 

 

 

A couple of smaller jaw fragments. Not sure if these are hadrosaur or something else. 

Jaws.JPG.196c3244d9c04bbbbd82da21b9ab16f2.JPG

 

 

Various limb bones

5bbda76bc02b6_Limbbone.JPG.785d14147f288561313fff3f777f182a.JPG

5bbdaaa7d58dc_Distalfemurorhumerus.JPG.00b0933c5467827e4cade1251d09a8fc.JPG

5bbda76de4582_Limbchunk.JPG.72a7391940da078bb4d18dd3fc881cec.JPG

 

 

 

Metatarsal or large digit

Metatarsal.JPG.5e6260e0fc6c8f6c14ac498a9a8a9367.JPG

 

 

 

Possibly a section of horned dinosaur frill. 

5bbda77d0fd48_Possiblefrillsectionfromaceratopsian.JPG.f2bfffd94741c494bb6f9f475133f77b.JPG

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Dinosaur digits!

5bbda8bc3486e_Digit5-somekindofherbivore.JPG.c3686c6365f536ab1dbd739a1889b2f8.JPG

5bbda8b9f1e1b_Digit4-largetheropod.JPG.1cc2d6f54f2be7ac146515c1736b8703.JPG

5bbdaa7b6418a_Theropoddigitdistalendfromthehand.JPG.1fab7f17ce166ec5309af54905608dba.JPG

5bbda8b5ea003_Digit2-smalltheropod.JPG.fe29feabe7fb0f3aa158f629e6b026cf.JPG

5bbda8afa2b14_Digit1.JPG.89c4f04ad432ff5db17f4837e66aa6e6.JPG

 

 

 

Probably a champsosaur tooth

5bbda8ad63c34_Champsosaurtooth.JPG.406fa2eb0063498e8741404b94000cdb.JPG

 

 

 

Miscellaneous other dinosaur bones

5bbda8a51fd3b_Bones7.JPG.efef9a214353d6ddabe042592e9cb7b5.JPG

5bbda89e5ca3e_Bones6.JPG.b22b9875347d2dac6259ef3f8f003f7d.JPG

5bbda896bd8dc_Bones5.JPG.20cc8ac279b3ab28985e509eaae37228.JPG

5bbda8902aa32_Bones4.JPG.6e9b0e3b9244abeb4da72956ede680f2.JPG

 

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Final miscellaneous bones

5bbda97205227_Bone2.JPG.6958e0ab66a91a9bc90a0e9eb3fa50f9.JPG

5bbda977de919_Bones1.JPG.8b0ad1198c081dedd8a743f5f6e119f6.JPG

5bbda97f4fc7b_Bones3.JPG.ccad8d74f9cdf072be2de2ff9d06c983.JPG

 

 

 

And my prized find of the day, a beautiful Gorgosaurus tyrannosaur tooth!!!!! What a beauty!!

IMG_7303.JPG.cffc62e5d75c7f56be190d267228789a.JPG

IMG_7308.JPG.714c5376adbd63bce81b96ae14f5b001.JPG

IMG_7309.JPG.b01cc2dbfaa08769dc9f8e9f00b13b4f.JPG

 

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Last but not least, the beautiful scenery of the park :)

5bbdaa22e428e_Landscape1.JPG.09228aed2437b91d7abe279e899ce8a4.JPG

5bbdaa28e9262_Landscape2.JPG.57ea08427895118c49b6933ef60368ce.JPG

5bbdaa2c3c4fd_Landscape3.JPG.c20b9871161ec0d30acb566f09e296ad.JPG

5bbdaa321bb71_Landscape4.JPG.bc90ed9d9485daa13fded05facb8b63c.JPG

 

 

Thanks for checking this report out!

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Nice report! It is so amazing to believe that so many dinosaur fossils are found just by walking around the park :)

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WOW!!!!!!!!!!  I need to get out to Alberta!!!!! :faint:  Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful pictures - great finds!!! :dinothumb:

 

I was just wondering - are there just too many fossils to be collected, or do the staff only collect the particularly important ones and leave the rest for visitors to see (and for nature to unfortunately eventually wear down)?

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Great report! Thanks for taking us along to this world famous site!

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Looks like a trip worth making. The daspletosaurus vert and the gorgo tooth are my favorite.  Awesome finds. Would’ve been nice if you got to take a fossil or two home but a cool experience nonetheless. 

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Thanks guys!!

 

@Monica Yes, there are just so many fossils here that now only the best material is actually collected. This usually means anything articulated or reasonably complete. Isolated bones like the ones in my pictures are all pretty much ignored, which is sad, as yes they will inevitably just erode away. I think there needs to be a better system personally. It doesn't make sense to just let these great fossils be destroyed by the elements. But if collecting was allowed how could it be regulated to make sure only expendable material was taken? And how would you stop people then selling those bones for a profit? It's a hard situation, you want to save the fossils, but letting collectors take things opens up a bunch of other issues as well. 

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Very nice, thanks for sharing the adventure.

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Geez.. I miss that place so much - can't wait to get back there in a few years :)

Anyways, thank you so much for that wonderful report! The stuff you found (and the scenery you saw) is absolutely amazing - especially that Gorgosaurus tooth :D

-Christian

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/10/2018 at 3:04 AM, Paleoworld-101 said:

One last vertebra. This one is special, it's a beautiful large tyrannosaur vert from Daspletosaurus ! This was the top predator in the ecosystem. 

100

 

 

A tyrannosaur tooth still in-situ. 

5bbda5f6a6f8f_Tyrannosaurtooth.JPG.4a37eb77b28d56e2e65440df39ea34f8.JPG                                

Another small shard of theropod tooth.

 5bbda5e6ee854_Theropodtoothshard.JPG.b947010a2baf910356ec2c531cd979d4.JPG

Two large dinosaur sacra (fused vertebrae from the hip region)

5bbda5ddcb786_Sacrum1.JPG.ce12999dbe0bcf0bbdcad9716b75c00c.JPG 5bbda5e515092_Sacrum2.JPG.0db5ae02c655fa6bc8f936ab48dc46a8.JPG

Dinosaur ribs

Rib.JPG.ac1d560d3fda7a3e6e36ed4138123f4a.JPG  Ribs.JPG.119d86201e82875ef05b4a0d8dc5bfcb.JPG

Turtle shell fragments from Trionyx

5bbda5f05cd88_Turtleshell2.JPG.49896b1d21385b6b979dd332dabbdf4c.JPG  5bbda5e9451d7_Turtleshell1.JPG.06b03cc2d5b8f98ceae89d24912db76d.JPG

I know this is a old post, but is the top Daspletosaurus vertabrae from the Dinosaur park formation or Oldman formation thanks!!

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On 31/12/2019 at 6:30 AM, dinosaur man said:

I know this is a old post, but is the top Daspletosaurus vertabrae from the Dinosaur park formation or Oldman formation thanks!!

It is from the Dinosaur Park Formation. 

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