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hadrosauridae

My son and I just got home last night from a 2 week fossil hunting trip.  We loaded up the trailer and made our way up north to the Hell Creek formation in South Dakota. 

 

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This was the 11th year since we started digging with Walter Stein of PaleoAdventures.  We spent 4 days in the field at his Tooth Draw quarry.  This started out pretty slow for us, with an Edmontosaurus neural arch with processes but was missing the centrum. 

 

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My son found an unknown plate.  Highly fractured but it looks to have 3 original sides.  The underside is still encased in matrix so we wont know more until its prepped out while might take a while. 

 

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The finds got better in last 2 days.  We found a few big BOBs, lots of Trike spitter teeth, and then a nice limb bone, possibly from a crocodile. 

 

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The last day gave up a wonderful complete Thescelosaurus vert with all processes.  It may not be clear in the pic, but its all there in the matrix. 

 

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Then came a Nanotyrannus tooth, a partial mammal jaw,  a possible piece of turtle plastrom and a final tooth with could be nano or could be raptor.  It will have to be cleaned to examine it better for a good ID.  Sorry, I dont have a field pic of that one.  

 

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The weather didnt get better though.  Our last day it in the mid 90s, zero clouds and 40mph winds funneling down the draw and sandblasting us all day long.  But with great finds, you couldnt pry us out of there.  


 

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Then we drove further west to the fossil lake beds around Kemmerer, WY.  This was our first time there.  We chose to hunt with the American Fossil quarry.  One thing is for sure, you wont be wanting for material and specimens!  We had planned for 3 days of hunting.  The first day was a lot more about learning the technique of splitting efficiently.  We packed out a ton of fish, even the partials, if it looked like they were mostly there (for practice and giveaways, etc). End of the day, my son decided to split one plate one last time.  There was a huge Phareodus hiding. 

 

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Only bad thing was that the plates were now very thin.  We managed to get it back to camp where we glued it down to a board and glued the sections together.  

 

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The second day we were in our zone.  We were splitting down boulders of rocks, hoping for more big fish, a mortality plate, stingray etc. We did keep our plates thicker when we found something, so we wouldnt have to worry about breaking on the 1000 mile trip home.  We do have a few large unknowns.  If I had a break through the plate instead of along the bedding plane, I always looked for that paper thin edge of a fish.  I did find a few, and simply glued the pieces back together to prep out at home.  Dont know what they are, just that I know I've 100% of whatever is there!  Our last day was cancelled because it rained 3 inches and then snowed another 4 that night.  Oh well, 2 days gave us enough to fill the back of my super-crew cab truck with slabs, standing on edge! This pic isnt even all of 1 day.  I think I have PLEEEENTY to keep us occupied with prepping for a while!

 

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We ended our trip with a visit to the Sternberg museum in Hays KS.  I wont take up more bandwith with pics from there, but they have some highly impressive fossils on display, as well as artwork from Ray Troll!  If you are in the area, I highly recommend stopping in.  

 

One last note; if you are planning a trip to the American Fossil quarry I recommend taking lots of high strength superlgue.  The rock are super fragile and lots of great specimens can be saved if you can glue them back together.  I also recommend to bring some 1/2" plywood panels so that if you get a super thin slab with a great fossil you can glue it down and transport it safely.  There is only 1 lumber store in the town and they close early so you will have to give up digging time to go get plywood if needed.

 

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PrehistoricWonders

Nice finds!!! I love the nano tooth!!!

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2 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

Nice finds!!! I love the nano tooth!!!

Thanks, its complete with full enamel and will look incredible once its prepped and consolidated.

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PrehistoricWonders

Are you guys prepping it or are they?

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2 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

Are you guys prepping it or are they?

We are doing our own prep.

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PrehistoricWonders

I’d love to be able to find and prep something like that!!!:envy:

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1 minute ago, Familyroadtrip said:

I’d love to be able to find and prep something like that!!!:envy:

PaleoAdventures is a pay-to-dig operation, so you actually can!

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PrehistoricWonders

We can’t this year, because they’re probably all booked up and we’re in NJ so it’ll probably be a year or two before we can get out there.:unsure:

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@hadrosauridae

Could you please upload the Kemmerer photos like you did in the previous post?  Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, JohnJ said:

@hadrosauridae

Could you please upload the Kemmerer photos like you did in the previous post?  Thanks.

OK, sorry.  The thread was doing its "blank out the top XX%" thing so I cut and pasted the second part as a reply.  I'll go in and edit it.

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Nice stuff.  That mammal jaw alone is worth the price of digging.  

I wonder about superglue to fix split fish.  It can be very difficult to remove when you get to prepping them.  I prefer vinac.  

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53 minutes ago, jpc said:

Nice stuff.  That mammal jaw alone is worth the price of digging.  

I wonder about superglue to fix split fish.  It can be very difficult to remove when you get to prepping them.  I prefer vinac.  

Well, I'll find out one for sure when I get to prepping the glued ones.  I'm not planning on working through the glue, its to hold the halves of the fish together, or to hold the rock together.  How well does vinac play with water?  The matrix is very damp and they even recommend letting them dry for 2 weeks before doing anything with them.  I know some consolidates dont interact well with wet matrix but I dont remember which ones. 

 

I cant believe my son spotted that tiny little jaw among the ironstone.  It would have been so easy to blow right through it and turn it to dust. I guess having those younger eyes helps out there. :heartylaugh:

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PrehistoricWonders

How big is the mammal jaw? Great find!!

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10 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

How big is the mammal jaw? Great find!!

It was about 3/4" in length.  I wish I had used the other side (millimetres) of the photo scale, but the sandstorm was kicking my butt.

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PrehistoricWonders
4 minutes ago, hadrosauridae said:

It was about 3/4" in length.  I wish I had used the other side (millimetres) of the photo scale, but the sandstorm was kicking my butt.

Nice!!!

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Fantastic trip, on my list to do some time! Looking forward to seeing what is in the blocks when prepped.

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vinac and paraloid do not do well with wet rock.  

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Nice trip and finds.  That mammal jaw is a super,  your son has a great eye.  Vinac or Paleobond field consoldant is my choice for field trips makes prepping a lot easier.  

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  Really like the mammal jaw and looks like you had some serious fun.   makes me miss going out and doing it myself.  Nice pics too.

 

RB

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On 6/21/2020 at 12:12 PM, Troodon said:

Vinac or Paleobond field consoldant is my choice for field trips makes prepping a lot easier. 

Hi Troodon.  may I ask what this 'Paleobond field consolodant' is? 

 

RB

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39 minutes ago, RJB said:

Hi Troodon.  may I ask what this 'Paleobond field consolodant' is? 

 

RB

Everyone is familiar with their standard penetrant the red label PB002 great for quick bonding but harder to prep with.    They have a similar product PB4417 blue label that is designed to be easily removed during prep.  It does not have the penetration or holding power of the other one but is suitable to stabilize bone during extraction and jacketing.  Takes a bit longer to cure.   

 

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On 6/21/2020 at 1:12 PM, Troodon said:

Nice trip and finds.  That mammal jaw is a super,  your son has a great eye.  Vinac or Paleobond field consoldant is my choice for field trips makes prepping a lot easier.  

Yeah, I was kinda miffed at myself, as I had my PB02 ready to go and forgot to pack it my field boxes.  I need multiple bottles so I'm not moving it back and forth from prep bench to field box.  PaleoAdventures has plenty for everyone to use, so it wasnt a problem there, but I sure missed it on the second leg of the trip.  I need some of their heavier duty stuff too.  PB02 is great for things like field-setting bone, but they dont have the holding power of the thicker varieties.

1 hour ago, RJB said:

  Really like the mammal jaw and looks like you had some serious fun.   makes me miss going out and doing it myself.  Nice pics too.

 

RB

One thing about this is that its not nice for OUR old bones and I can understand its only going to get tougher down the line.  Sitting, kneeling, laying on rock to excavate our prizes takes a toll!

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