Thursday, 27 March 2008

Preliminary results

A well preserved ornithopod tibia
Paired turtle pubes (hip bones) and a turtle coracoid
found only centimetres away from the hip bones.
Fused turtle sacral vertebrae. This bone was described by Wendy as
"a square bone with four feet" so I just had to prepare it.
It has now been nearly three weeks since the Dinosaur Dreaming 2008 dig came to an end. For some it is back to the real world and a normal job. However, for a privileged few the real fun begins. Preparation of the specimens that were found during the dig has begun and the preliminary results are looking good:

Over 700 fossil bones and teeth were catalogued during the dig, not including the "shoulder bones", which are bone fragments too incomplete to catalogue. Some of the stand-out specimens to have been identified include the three mammal jaws, which are in David Pickering's capable hands, waiting to be prepared. Gerry Kool's lovely ornithopod maxilla could turn out to be very interesting if it can be determined that it is Qantassaurus intrepidus. David is also working on this specimen.
At least 28 individual ornithopod teeth were identified and more will no doubt turn up during examination of the material. Only 6 theropod teeth were found, which is a little down on the average number. More than 120 isolated theropod teeth have been recovered from the Flat Rocks site over the last 15 years.
Some nice dinosaur limbs were also found this field season, including an ornithopod femur, at least two tibiae and a fibula. One of the tibiae is shown above.
Some very well preserved turtle elements were also found this year, including a turtle braincase, lower jaw, numerous isolated vertebrae, paired pubes and associated coracoid (shown above). These bones are from a number of individuals and will add more information to our database.
Preparation of more of the fossil bones is ongoing, so stay tuned...

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