HomeDinosaurEpisode 397: Learn how to discover fossils

Episode 397: Learn how to discover fossils

Episode 397: Learn how to discover fossils. Assets and teams that may aid you get began searching for fossils. Plus, which instruments to convey, how one can determine a rock from a fossil, and locations you’ll be able to go to gather them.

You’ll be able to take heed to our free podcast, with all our episodes, on Apple Podcasts at:

Some assets that can assist you discover fossils:

  • FOSSILS: A Information to Prehistoric Life, a e book with many useful pictures and descriptions, plus hyperlinks to extra assets. supply
  • myFOSSIL, an internet site that’s “constructing a neighborhood of beginner {and professional} paleontologists.” supply
  • The Fossil Discussion board will 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 many feathers
  • Had a shorter, taller, wider, cranium than Velociraptor, and had pneumatic nasals
  • Velociraptor additionally had an extended, decrease, extra slender cranium
  • Velociraptor legs had been about 15% shorter than Saurornitholestes
  • Thought-about 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 calmly constructed than different dromaeosaurids
  • Had a comparatively giant mind
  • Had a big olfactory bulb, so most likely had a great sense of odor
  • Agile and quick
  • Most likely had feathers
  • Had curved, blade-like tooth
  • Had giant tooth within the entrance of its jaws
  • A few of its tooth could have been for preening feathers
  • Two species: Saurornitholestes langstoni and Saurornitholestes sullivani
  • Kind species is Saurornitholestes langstoni
  • Named in 1978 by Hans-Dieter Sues
  • Saurornitholestes sullivani named in 2015 by Steven Jasinski
  • Genus identify means “lizard-bird thief”
  • Species identify “langstoni” is in honor of Wann Langston, Jr.
  • Species identify “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 consists of tooth, components of the cranium, two vertebrae, ribs, components of the tail and part of the hand
  • Holotype was lower than 30 bones
  • Might have been the most typical small theropod in Dinosaur Provincial Park (primarily based on numerous tooth and bones discovered)
  • Extra Saurornitholestes tooth and bones have been discovered than Dromaeosaurus
  • 4 further partial skeletons discovered over the following 25 years, for a complete of 5 skeletons, and never a lot recognized concerning the cranium till a specimen present in 2014 (lower than 1 km from the place the holotype was discovered)
  • That specimen is almost 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 tooth 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 “nearly an identical to the holotype the place they are often in contrast”
  • The 2014 specimen was at the least 8 years outdated and virtually mature, primarily based on histology
  • Discovered that the holotype of Zapsalis (a dinosaur named in 1876 by Cope primarily based on a tooth present in Montana) was truly Saurornitholestes
  • Extra Zapsalis tooth have since been present in different formations
  • Genus identify Zapsalis means “thorough pair of scissors” and species abradens identify means “abrading”
  • Currie and Evans mentioned there could have been at “least two main faunal interchanges between Asia and North America through the Cretaceous”
  • North American dromaeosaurids most likely got here from a special lineage than Asian dromaeosaurids, which additionally means Saurornitholestes and Velociraptor had 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 identify refers back to the thickness of the bone), primarily based 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 scale 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 regarded on the tooth of a number of coelurosaurs to review their feeding conduct (Gorgosaurus, Dromaeosaurus, Saurornitholestes, Troodon)
  • Discovered that microwear patterns had been the identical on the small and enormous theropods, so the biting actions would have been comparable in all of them (puncture and pull, the place they sink their tooth in and transfer again or pulled their heads again to tug out flesh)
  • Discovered the “Troodon” tooth had been in-built a approach 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 tooth
  • Serrations on the again fringe of the tooth had been bigger than these on the entrance fringe of the tooth
  • 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 could 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 tooth (too completely different to be Saurornitholestes, and most definitely to be from a juvenile tyrannosaurid like Gorgosaurus or Daspletosaurus, which had been additionally in Dinosaur Park Formation)
  • Bruce Rothschild and others present in a 2001 research that solely 2 of 82 Saurornitholestes foot bones had stress fractures, and a pair of of 9 hand bones had them
  • Different animals that lived across the identical time and place embrace ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, ornithopods, theropods, oviraptors, in addition to turtles and fish

Enjoyable Truth:

Opposite to fashionable perception, you’ll be able to typically discover fossils in Igneous rocks & metamorphic rocks (not simply Sedimentary rocks).

Thanks Patrons!

Your assist means a lot to us and retains us going! In the event you’re a dinosaur fanatic, be part of our rising neighborhood on Patreon at patreon.com/iknowdino



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments