Saturday, July 31, 2010

Journey up the Beartooth Highway

Today our youth group and some of the crew drove into the mountains from desert scrubs to mountain tundra and snow. What a fantastic beautiful! As we ascended the mountains, Glen told us about the glacial past of the region. At 10,000 feet we stopped to survey the expanding vista around us. Chilly winds buffeted a vast color palette of blossoming flowers as an American Pipit flew about, agitated by our presence. If you ever feel wanderlust, may I suggest a trip along the Beartooth Highway; by far one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Montana Outreach

You can take the presenter from the Outreach program but you can't keep the Outreach out of the Presenter. While out here in Montana, Everett Edwards, a local blacksmith and friend of Mother's Day asked if he could bring a few local kids by to dig. With Glenn's permission a few mornings two or three young Montanans stop buy to pick, chisel and collect float. Their enthusiasm and patience is outstanding. Having this opportunity to teach kids in an active dino quarry is one of the most fun things I have ever done as an educator.


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Youth Week - Work Complete

Our youth week kids are in town and we have them working on ribs and caudals. Still lots of bones to get out before we close down the site. Message to their Moms and Dads: "we will not work them too hard." The Crew has dwindled to 4.....Mac, Caleb, Lamont and Dan. It feels like some goofy reality TV show except the people who get voted out get a shower.....lucky! We will keep on digging. We have plastered up or collected 147 bones. Good work!

The Crew

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Funny Bone

Toward the bottom of the quarry we found an odd bone. During the last few days there has been much speculation in regard to its owner. Mother's Day for the most part is 99% Diplodocus in nature. In the past 11 years of digging we have produced all Diplodocus except the occasional Allosaurus tooth. This strange bone has features of an Allosaurus' scapula or shoulder blade. This would be tremendous and give us a better understanding of how these dinosaurs met their end. We will not know until we completely uncover it. We may not even know until we get it back to the lab. The other possibility of its identification is that it may be a small pubic element of a very young Diplodocus. Let's hope its an Allosaurus! :)

The Crew

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We Will Miss You

Our 2nd week guests are rounding for home. They have been covered in dust, baked in the sun and hopefully given the experience of great adventure we feel with every bone found. Session Two's help in the collection of bone and skin has definitely furthered our research on the taxonomy of Mother's Day. The Mother's Day Quarry is a teacher serving up lessons every day on ancient life, camaraderie and teamwork. The satisfaction of hard work done is felt everyday. Femurs may be in rock too hard to break yet our chisels never stop. Jackets seemingly too heavy to lift from the ground are collected with the muscle power of crew. We strive with a collective will in the pursuit of knowledge.

The Crew

Friday, July 23, 2010


During the last few days we have found a good amount of preserved dinosaur skin. This skin gives us a glimpse of how these creatures may have looked. Dinosaur skin was not scaly or overlaping. It was more like the skin of a Monitor Lizard....rough and bumpy. When good pieces of skin are found the texture and skin patterns can be imagined. Color is always something else people have thought about as well. There is new research being done that could provide a few answers on color. Good skin samples may contain remnants of chromatophores or pigment cell remains. By studying the shape and size of these cells and comparing them to modern animals we someday could be able to know what color dinosaurs were.

The Crew

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We will miss you Mike, Sara and Mark.

Goodbye messages for Sara Oser

"The day after you left the blue pack frame died." -Mackenzie
"Please come back I'm the only girl." -Sharon
"Its not a tibularum." -Caleb
"Where is your hat so I can take it." -Lamont
"What a gusher. Lots of mountain lions even more paper cows. Please next time lean your head back." -Dan

Goodbye messages for Mike Papp

"Now I have all the leftovers to myself." -Mackenzie
"Mike you were not the only one in camp that snores (Dan)." -Sharon
"I miss your jokes, you are a funny guy. "-Caleb
"Thank you for the fossilized pearls." -Lamont
"Your knowledge is beyond compare. Did you ever change your underwear?" -Dan

Goodbye messages for Mark Aull

"Your Plane was the hottest thing in Camp." -Mackenzie
"Your last name is the same as one of the tools we use in the Quarry." -Sharon
"Yo, man that was a Jerusalem Cricket." -Caleb
"I found your yucca, you forgot it." -Lamont
"Your old man hat is the bomb." -Dan

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cracking Rock..Finding Bone

Group 2 has been in Montana since Sunday and has brought awesome weather. Lots of bones are being prepared for removal. With each successful jacketing, more bones appear in all locations. One of our more interesting bones at the site is a large femur, almost a meter long! This is an uncommon bone to find given that it is from a sub-adult, a teenager if you will. Sam and Stephen D'Alecy from the 1st Session started on it but were unable to pop it out before they left...tears. Sharon is keeping vigilant on the femur and with the help of Stephen Hendricks we all hope to have it safely wrapped by end of week.

The Crew

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dust to Dust

Session 1 has drawn to an end. Time to brush off the dust and say so long to our great participants. Adios Janet and Songbird Kelly, See ya Sam Wise & Stephen, Later Bishop Boys, Mr. Moore we hardly knew ya and Chris and Michelle Our Belle.......Safe Journeys. Thank you so much for the cookies and conversations. The Crew hopes you had a wonderful time in "Paleoland" and that your time spent in Montana was enjoyable and education filled. Remember, Science is Exploration and it stretches to the horizon. Never stop looking for what's over the next rocky ridge. Thanks again and Stay safe.

The Crew

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Camp

Dear Mom and Dad,
Camp is fun. We are doing lots of fun things. Yesterday, my friend Caleb found a Caudal Bone from the tail of a Sauropod Dinosaur. It was sooooooooooo cool! The food is good, but I hate doing dishes....we all do. Sleeping in a tent is fun and uncomfortable. At night we all lay out on the trailer and stare up at the Milky Way. It's sooooo beautiful out here away from the city lights. I counted ten shooting stars last night. Well, have to go, wish you were here!

-Dino School

Too much Cheez Whiz!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Session 1 = Lots of Fun!

Our first group has arrived and is settling in to their "Paleo-Lifestyle". The group is a mix of newbies and experienced people who have been with us before. The Quarry is full of people and the sounds of chisel and rock hammers. On Monday, Sam D'Alecy helped pull out an ungual/claw, her first of many bones to come we hope. Shade is at a premium as the sun sizzles above. Spirits remain high as we excavate the tremendous abundance of the Mother's Day site.