Saturday, 30 March 2013

Clowning around with dino sculptures

Here's a few photos of Darren and Phil's trip to the Otway Fly:

Head-butting competition
Talking to a flying reptile
One-armed showdown
First aid training comes in handy

Feeding the Triceratops

Tickling the theropod

Monday, 25 March 2013

Paul Barrett's visit to Museum Victoria

While some of the Dinosaur Dreaming crew were having great fun down in the Otways last week, Lesley was privileged to host visiting palaeontologist Paul Barrett at Museum Victoria. Paul is an expert on ornithischian (plant eaters) dinosaurs and hails from the Natural History Museum in London. He has come to study "Noddy" our baby dinosaur from Inverloch, which was found by Mike Cleeland in 2010. Noddy got his name because he was found in a small rock nodule or concretion on the shore platform north of the Flat Rocks site. He is the first dinosaur skeleton from the Strzelecki Group, south-east of Melbourne and only the fourth dinosaur skeleton found in Victoria, so he is very special.
As well as studying Noddy, Paul also looked at the other specimens in the Early Cretaceous Vertebrate Collection and identified a number of isolated dinosaur skull elements. This new information will be added to the Museum's data base.

Paul Barrett looking at Noddy in the Museum prep lab
On Saturday Paul got the opportunity to visit the Flat Rocks site near Inverloch, where most of the dinosaur bones from the Strzelecki Group are found. We also took him to where Noddy was found, so now he can visualise the setting when he is writing his paper on our little dinosaur.

Paul at the Flat Rocks site, near Inverloch.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Otways fossil counts

We've had a bumper year at the Otways.  Here's the fossil counts (including plant fossils):
Saturday 16th: 0 fossils (horizontal rain chased us off the beach early).
Sunday 17th: 12 fossils.
Monday 18th: 14 fossils.
Tuesday 19th: 26 fossils.
Wednesday 20th: 21 fossils.
Thursday 21st: 23 fossils.
Friday 22nd: 31 fossils.
Saturday 23rd: 14 fossils.

This gives us a grand total of 141 catalogue items for the dig, almost twice as many as 2012.  Of course, it's not all about the numbers (we'd rather one spectacular fossil than a dozen undiagnostic scraps).  But there are a lot of great specimens in that count, so it's pretty exciting.

Some photos from Lisa

16 Mar - heading to site
16 Mar - Rainbow!
17 Mar - at the hole face
17 Mar - we uncover a fossil
17 Mar - Dave circles the fossil
18 Mar - atmospheric...
19 Mar - Wendy trimming a fossil

20 Mar - admiring Mary's jaw

Sat 23rd - Big bones and vertebrae

Phil points to a fossil
A small probable limb
Phil carries a bucket
James hammers a lot of rock
- but doesn't find any fossils this time
A small shaft
Lisa finds a fossil
Alanna breaks a sledge hammer
Lisa's spongy cross-section
Dave and Toni-Lee stare at the rock
A caudal vertebra

Toni-Lee finds a lovely vertebra.
Dave explains the different parts of the bone.
A thin long bone from "the hole"

Dave trims the big bone

Toni-Lee's beautiful vertebra
A section of the big bone.
Why are the walls so thick?
Our first view of the big bone

Eric the Red West 2013 Crew Photo

Lisa Phil Wayne Keiichi Sean Wendy Alanna
James Miklos Kerrie Sharyn Mary Astrid Toni-Lee Cate
Thanks to Dave for taking the photo

Fri 22nd - Less rain, more fossils

We catalogued a few plant fossils
A limb bone
Lisa finds a toe bone
Lisa's toe

Mary finds another nice fossil
Cate finds a lovely fossil
Sharyn helps her carry it
Cate's caudal vertebra (tail bone)
Nice little limb bone

Some Otways photos from Sean

Mary and Dave work in the rain
Alanna strikes a heroic pose
Sean and Alanna swing hammers
Very large rock removed (Sean for scale)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Thur 21st - rain but another ornithopod jaw

A dark morning
Sharyn finds a nice skully bit
Sharyn's skully bit
Sharyn finds an ornithopod jaw
Sharyn's ornithopod jaw
(tooth to the bottom left of the fossil)
It was a bit damp
Keiichi with his fossil (and some sunshine)
Keiichi in the wet
Keiichi's fossil
Dave finds an innovative way to avoid the blowing sand