Saturday, September 24, 2022
HomeDinosaurEpisode 397: Find out how to discover fossils

Episode 397: Find out how to discover fossils

Episode 397: Find out how to discover fossils. Assets and teams that may make it easier to get began in search of fossils. Plus, which instruments to convey, learn how to establish a rock from a fossil, and locations you possibly can go to gather them.

You possibly can hearken to our free podcast, with all our episodes, on Apple Podcasts at:

Some sources that can assist you discover fossils:

  • FOSSILS: A Information to Prehistoric Life, a guide with many useful photographs and descriptions, plus hyperlinks to extra sources. supply
  • myFOSSIL, an internet site that’s “constructing a neighborhood of novice {and professional} paleontologists.” supply
  • The Fossil Discussion board may help you ID fossils. supply
  • A PBS webpage itemizing the place you will discover fossils in every US state. supply
  • Fossil Explorer, an app that covers fossil localities in England, Scotland, and Wales. supply



The dinosaur of the day: Saurornitholestes

  • Dromaeosaurid that lived within the Late Cretaceous in what’s now Alberta, Canada and the U.S. (Montana, New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina)
  • Appeared just like Velociraptor, walked on two legs, had sickle claws, a protracted tail, and plenty of feathers
  • Had a shorter, taller, wider, cranium than Velociraptor, and had pneumatic nasals
  • Velociraptor additionally had an extended, decrease, extra slender cranium
  • Velociraptor legs have been about 15% shorter than Saurornitholestes
  • Thought of to be a mid-sized dromaeosaurid
  • Estimated to be 5.9 ft (1.8 m) lengthy
  • Weighed about 22 lb (10 kg)
  • Had longer legs and was extra flippantly constructed than different dromaeosaurids
  • Had a comparatively giant mind
  • Had a big olfactory bulb, so most likely had a superb sense of odor
  • Agile and quick
  • In all probability had feathers
  • Had curved, blade-like enamel
  • Had giant enamel within the entrance of its jaws
  • A few of its enamel might have been for preening feathers
  • Two species: Saurornitholestes langstoni and Saurornitholestes sullivani
  • Sort species is Saurornitholestes langstoni
  • Named in 1978 by Hans-Dieter Sues
  • Saurornitholestes sullivani named in 2015 by Steven Jasinski
  • Genus title means “lizard-bird thief”
  • Species title “langstoni” is in honor of Wann Langston, Jr.
  • Species title “sullivani” in honor of Robert Sullivan, who discovered the partial cranium in 1999 in New Mexico (Clive Coy discovered the almost full skeleton in 2014)
  • First fossils present in 1974 by Irene Vanderloh in Dinosaur Park Formation
  • Holotype contains enamel, elements of the cranium, two vertebrae, ribs, elements of the tail and part of the hand
  • Holotype was lower than 30 bones
  • Could have been the most typical small theropod in Dinosaur Provincial Park (based mostly on plenty of enamel and bones discovered)
  • Extra Saurornitholestes enamel and bones have been discovered than Dromaeosaurus
  • 4 further partial skeletons discovered over the subsequent 25 years, for a complete of 5 skeletons, and never a lot recognized in regards to the cranium till a specimen present in 2014 (lower than 1 km from the place the holotype was discovered)
  • That specimen is sort of full, apart from the tail, and reveals the cranium of Saurornitholestes was shorter and deeper in comparison with Velociraptor
  • Fossils additionally discovered within the Oldman Formation and Two Drugs Formation
  • Tooth present in Mooreville Chalk in Alabama, and enamel and a part of a foot present in North and South Carolina, within the Tar Heel, Coachman, and Donoho Creek formations
  • In 2020, John Wilson and Denver Fowler referred cranium materials discovered within the Judith River Formation in Montana to Saurornitholestes (which reveals it was “biogeographically widespread and occupied each inland and coastal environments throughout the northern parts of the Late Cretaceous Western Inside of North America”)
  • Saurornitholestes sullivani present in New Mexico within the Kirtland Formation in 2014
  • Totally different from Saurornitholestes langstoni as a result of it had a bigger olfactory bulb
  • In 2019, Phil Currie and Dave Evans studied the skulls of Saurornitholestes langstoni
  • The 2014 Saurornitholestes langstoni specimen is “just about similar to the holotype the place they are often in contrast”
  • The 2014 specimen was a minimum of 8 years outdated and virtually mature, based mostly on histology
  • Discovered that the holotype of Zapsalis (a dinosaur named in 1876 by Cope based mostly on a tooth present in Montana) was really Saurornitholestes
  • Extra Zapsalis enamel have since been present in different formations
  • Genus title Zapsalis means “thorough pair of scissors” and species abradens title means “abrading”
  • Currie and Evans mentioned there might have been at “least two main faunal interchanges between Asia and North America throughout the Cretaceous”
  • North American dromaeosaurids most likely got here from a special lineage than Asian dromaeosaurids, which additionally means Saurornitholestes and Velociraptor have been distinct from one another
  • Saurornitholestes thought-about to be Velociraptor langstoni by some scientists
  • As a result of the cranium wasn’t recognized for a very long time, Paul in 1988 synonymized Saurornitholestes with Velociraptor (many individuals didn’t agree)
  • In 2006, Robert Sullivan named Saurornitholestes robustus (species title refers back to the thickness of the bone), based mostly on fossils present in New Mexico
  • In 2014, Dave Evans and others discovered Saurornitholestes robustus to be an indeterminate troodontid
  • Holotype didn’t have any diagnostic dromaeosaurid traits, and have some options present in troodontids, and the dimensions of the specimen was extra just like higher recognized troodontid fossils present in Alberta
  • Had a “puncture and pull” feeding methodology
  • Angelica Torices and others appeared on the enamel of a number of coelurosaurs to review their feeding habits (Gorgosaurus, Dromaeosaurus, Saurornitholestes, Troodon)
  • Discovered that microwear patterns have been the identical on the small and huge theropods, so the biting actions would have been comparable in all of them (puncture and pull, the place they sink their enamel in and transfer again or pulled their heads again to tug out flesh)
  • Discovered the “Troodon” enamel have been inbuilt a method they couldn’t deal with struggling prey, or else they’d break, so Troodon most likely went for small prey
  • Saurornitholestes had distinct serrations on the enamel
  • Serrations on the again fringe of the enamel have been bigger than these on the entrance fringe of the enamel
  • Had a flat tooth with lengthy ridges on the entrance of the mouth, for preening
  • A Saurornitholestes tooth was present in a wing bone of a pterosaur, most likely a juvenile Quetzalcoatlus (which was a lot bigger than Saurornitholestes, so might have scavenged)
  • Aase Roland Jacobsen described a Saurornitholestes dentary in 2001, and located three toothmarks on the floor. Two of them made by serrations from one other dinosaur’s enamel (too totally different to be Saurornitholestes, and more than likely to be from a juvenile tyrannosaurid like Gorgosaurus or Daspletosaurus, which have been additionally in Dinosaur Park Formation)
  • Bruce Rothschild and others present in a 2001 examine that solely 2 of 82 Saurornitholestes foot bones had stress fractures, and a couple of of 9 hand bones had them
  • Different animals that lived across the similar time and place embody ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, ornithopods, theropods, oviraptors, in addition to turtles and fish

Enjoyable Reality:

Opposite to in style perception, you possibly can generally discover fossils in Igneous rocks & metamorphic rocks (not simply Sedimentary rocks).

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