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fossilsonwheels

Building the Dinosaur Program- Judith River

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fossilsonwheels

Today is my last day off before I go back to work and I was supposed to spend the day making fossil starter kits. I have a cold though and I do not want the kids to think that 12 million year old shark teeth gave them a cold lol I am pretty bored so I thought I would post about our Judith River dinosaur fossils and how we are going to get discuss this formation. I am really surprised how much I am enjoying learning about these dinosaurs and this will be a formation that we spend a good bit of time on.

 

It must have had some very productive ecosystems and there is a great diversity here to discuss. The kids will also get to see some familiar dinosaur families while learning about species that are new to them. I think during adaptation related presentations, this formation lets us get into ecological niches and discuss how two Tyrannosaurids existed as did at least two species of Dromaeosaurids and a Troodonitd plus other predators including non dinos. That is a lot of hungry mouths so niche selection and adaptations become very important. THere is also a great diversity of herbivores in this formation.

 

I love the Ceratopsians from this formation and the diversity gives my son a lot of artistic options. We currently have one tooth but by the time we present we will have a couple more I think. This allows us to present a few species and say the teeth are not diagnostic so the teeth could have belonged to one or more really cool looking horned dinosaurs. This also gives the kids knowledge that there other Ceratopsians besides Triceratops.

 

This will also be the point where we introduce Dromaeosaurids. Raptors are just iconic and this formation gives us the chance to really hit on adaptations. We have a Saurornitholestes tooth and will soon have a Dormaeosaurid caudal vertebra. While not assigned specifically to Dromaeosaurus, the vert will presented that way so we can talk about the differences between the two raptors. Of particular interest is the larger skull, more robust teeth, and specific wear patterns on the teeth of Dromaeosaurus.

 

We will also have a small tooth tip from a Tyrannosaur indet. The kids will love learning about other Tyrannosaurids and I will leave it to the kids to imagine which one it belonged to. The real owner of the tooth is not important. That two existed in this formation is what is important. They must have occupied different niches plus a lot of kids may think T-Rex was the only member of that family.

 

The last fossil I know we will have from Judith River is one of my favorites. It is an Ankylosaurus tooth and thanks to some help from TFF members, I spotted this among a few Nodosaur teeth. In our inventory, this is Ankylosaurus indet. However, in every single dinosaur presentation we do this will be Zuul and it will be a rock star. We want the kids to understand that there are many new discoveries being made and there will be a lot of new dinosaur discoveries made by THEIR generation. Everything about Zuul will be cool to kids. It is the one of the most incredible fossils ever found, armored dinosaurs are just cool, and it even has a pop culture name that a lot of kids will recognize from Ghostbusters lol

 

Only 5 fossils but we can do A LOT of quality education with these fossils. I also have a very clear idea of the next items to find from Judith River. #1 on that list is a Dromaeosaurus tooth. A tooth gives us the perfect way of illustrating the difference between the raptors. We have two more purchases to complete before I buy again so I will save up and in the spring I start searching for that tooth. I also would love to add a hadrosaur bone from this formation and eventually I will track down a frill piece.

 

Anyway, here a couple of the fossils...

 

Pic 1- our Saurornitholestes tooth. Not a great picture but a really nice tooth.

 

Pic 2- the Dormaeosaurid indet vert. Not here yet but will be right around my B-day.

 

Pic 3- the Anky tooth.  It is just a cool tooth and Zuul is a great dinosaur to teach kids about so Zuul is what this tooth is for Fossils on Wheels. Our only fossil from an armored dinosaur.

 

 

anky3.jpg

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dromaeosaurid vert.jpg

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fossilsonwheels

I also want to mention that the Ceratopsian tooth came in a purchase from a TFF member and he is sending us TWO so we now have Ceratopsian TEETH :)

 

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fossilsonwheels

Our Ceratopsian teeth from Judith River, courtesy of TFF member @Anomotodon who also generously donated an Edmontosaurus spitter, some nice phytosaur teeth, and some super cool shark teeth from Europe. The tooth on the left is the nicest Trike tooth we have. It is a beauty !

 

There is such an interesting diversity of ceratopsians in this formation though we are leaning toward specifically presenting Avaceratops and Medusaceratops.

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mburkett

Very nice teeth!  Being a dromaeosaurid collector, I especially like the Saurornitholestes tooth. The posterior serrations are great and have the classic, easily seen Sauro shape.

 

Good luck finding a Dromaeosaurus tooth. They’re out there, but are much rarer. They’re often mislabeled, so knowing what to look for is important. I’ve found several that were ID’d as Saurornitholestes or just generic “Dromaeosaur”. The serrations are more evenly rounded than Saurornitholestes (which have more of a hook shape) and anterior carina have a twist toward the tooth’s base

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fossilsonwheels
11 hours ago, mburkett said:

Very nice teeth!  Being a dromaeosaurid collector, I especially like the Saurornitholestes tooth. The posterior serrations are great and have the classic, easily seen Sauro shape.

 

Good luck finding a Dromaeosaurus tooth. They’re out there, but are much rarer. They’re often mislabeled, so knowing what to look for is important. I’ve found several that were ID’d as Saurornitholestes or just generic “Dromaeosaur”. The serrations are more evenly rounded than Saurornitholestes (which have more of a hook shape) and anterior carina have a twist toward the tooth’s base

Thank you. I really liked that tooth too. That and the Acheroraptor are both really good quality and pretty teeth. The vertebra is another addition that I am quite fond of. Dromaeosaurid fossils are quickly becoming a passion.

 

I know Dromaeosaurus and Dakotaraptor are both going to be really tough. That is advantageous in a way though. It gives me time to really study them like I did with the other two. I want to know exactly what to look for and wait until the one right comes along. I appreciate that advice. More information is always a good thing. Thank you very much :)

 

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fossilsonwheels

our JR Tyrannosaur tooth arrived. We can finally start talking about a Tyrannosaur other than T-rex ! It is a nice tooth. About 1.4" and the serrations are in good shape. We will most likely talk about Gorgosaurus in the ed programs even though the tooth is indet. We only have two programs left this spring but going forward this was an important fossil for us to get. We wanted to expand on the Tyrannosaur family and now we can.

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