Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project 2012
I recently returned from fieldwork in Alberta, as part of the Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project, carried out in collaboration with Dr. Michael Ryan of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It was the eighth year of the project, and we returned with the goal of continuing excavations at the two horned dinosaur sites that we worked last year- the McPheeters Centrosaurus bonebed and the South Side Ceratopsian quarry, but we found a lot more than we could have hoped. The South Side Ceratopsian is particularly exciting because lab work over the winter revealed a large part of the skull that demonstrated we indeed have a brand new species of dinosaur on our hands- so we couldn’t wait to get back into the field this year.
Our worked stretched over one month, and it was certainly one of our best field seasons to date. We covered a lot of ground and collected hundreds of new specimens. The details of the new finds will be revealed as the material is prepared in the lab over the Fall and Winter. Highlight finds include an almost complete nest of eggs, a juvenile ceratopsian skeleton, and a new, rich bonebed containing yet another new species, in addition to success at McPheeters (we collected over 300 bones for this site alone, including the first diagnostic frill pieces). Michael and I thank Ian Morrision and Caleb Brown for working their logistical magic, and all of the students and volunteers that made this year so outstanding– we look forward to getting back to southern Alberta next year.