1. time is running out to get in your horned dinosaur entry for the first ART Evolved gallery. details are here. they would like all entries by march. 1st... which is only a few days away!
2. they wanted me to elude to the fact there is a HUGE mega top-secret surprise that they will be coinciding the launch of the gallery with... oops, i guess i didn't elude to it so much as told you. still i wonder what it is?!?
i gotta run and get my submission ready. can't wait to see yours up there!
looking over the challenges, i think it is safe to say that they were challenges. i made them too hard, and for that i applogize. with my brain the size of a peanut i forget that things i know aren't automatically known by others.
though not to worry people of the innerweb. i'll cover the answers of these challenges in my chronicling my fieldwork, as i ran into all these things along the way!
the only challenge where someone was close was challenge 3. for this one professional palaeontologist Dr. Adam Yates was really close considering he knows nothing about alberta's geology. so i'll be contacting him about his prize...
raptor lewis did a great job summarizing lost quarry hunting in his guess for challenge 1, but missed one thing in his list. sadly it was the one correct answer, but he gets a shout out for having paid such close attention to the lost quarry post! because for the most part he only really missed one thing.
anyways thanks for trying, and this is by no means the last time you'll be seeing of these challenges.
i saved up a hard one for the finale of this the first round of challenges... time to prove you have a bigger brain that me!
above is a nice picture of the badlands, with a rather ugly green line (added by me in paint to the photo) running along the top. there is a key difference between the layers above and below this line.
now before you take a guess... i'm sure some of you are thinking it must be the KT boundary!... there is a difficult catch. i only want to know what is special about the top layer... which is hint right away. it is only a single layer above the green line, compared to many many below it!
the layers below the line are of the horseshoe formation, and contain the sorts of dinosaurs and other fossils you'd expect to find in those rocks. however the rocks above it are not from the horseshoe canyon formation, and the horseshoe are the only cretaceous layers around drumheller (where this photo was taken!).
how can you explain this layer as per the law of superposition?!?
next the really hard part, and a prize winning answer if you can get it (there is a prize for this part if you can get it). how is the source of this single top layer (possibly) responsible for my finding fossils in the bottom layers, as the bottom layers came before it?
(this is not a trick question! the bottom layers were laid down before this top one for the record. somehow this layer explains why i today can find fossils in this area).
double good luck to you, and be sure to check back on feb. 21st when i get back and figure out who got this one and the first two challenges right!
though i am trying to find the lost quarrys of francis slate, i'm just as likely to stumble into all sorts of other cool things here in the badlands.
and stumble i have! well checking around the bottom of a hill i catch glimpse of this spot.
it got me REALLY excited, and hopeful that i was on the edge of a big discovery...
what did i see in the photo that got me really excited? why did seeing these get me excited? and what was i hoping that the thing(s?) i saw were indicating might be close by?
leave your answer in the comments to this post, and check back on feb. 21st when i get back in from the field and announce who was right and who was well... uh less right.
the idea is to test your palaeontologic know how and thinking skills. hopefully everyone is a winner!
so your first problem...
i am out in the badlands currently trying to find this lost quarry of francis slate. one of my main clues/tools for finding this lost quarry of his is this photograph.
there is possible problem with this photo that, if i forget to take into account, will lead to my not recognizing this spot. even if i'm standing right on top of it!
what COULD be the problem with the photograph, and what is the easy solution i should make sure to do, so i don't fail at my quest?
good luck! leave you answer and solution in the comments to this post, and check back on feb. 21st when i get back in from the field and tell you who got it right!
i was going to find out more about this mysterious francis slate, an early adventurer from the great canadian dinosaur rush, who found my egg nearly a 100 years ago yet left it in the ground for some reason!
darren tanke had taught me everything i needed to go out and find slate's lost quarrys. so i was set and ready to get started
though it took darren some convincing that i was up to the task of tracking down the elusive slate. afterall darren, the master of lost quarry locating, had been unable to track down francis after nearly a decade. however, darren was a man with a day job and lots of other things to discover.
i on the other hand was a tiny dinosaur with nothing better to do for my time here. if not look for this man with a connection to my past, i'd just end up bumming around my old hometown another month. which was getting old.
no, instead i could focus my energies on nothing but digging up the trail of this elusive fossil hunter, and who knew maybe make some cool new things along the way...
darren had empowered my on my hunt of slate's lost quarrys by giving me copies of what few photos of the man we had. out some 22 of his field reports (almost the ONLY records of this man's existence), only 5 were from work around drumheller, and as i was stuck in town that's where i'd be looking.
here they were:
this one from 1913. a picture from the geologic survey's records, one of the few photos of slate not taken by his own field team, you can tell as his field assistant eli hexton is taking a photo in the picture... his photo of the scene has since disappeared. it is a nice view into how all the rest of these old photos came to be though!
according to the field report of slate's, this was a site after some reconnaissance digging revealed a bonebed with at least 4 "albertosaur type" dinosaurs present. this wasn't just a claim. francis had counted the left femurs. there were four of them!
this was at the top of darren's list. as a new tyrannosaurid bonebed would help new light on the building evidence of pack behaviour in my family.
i had few details to go on with this one. other than it was somewhere in proximity to a coal mine. which didn't help in the drumheller section of the valley there were 8 of them... but i had some ideas how to narrow this down!
this the FIRST of francis slate's field reports ever, from 1912, when he was tailing both barnum brown and the sternbergs during the year they were both in drumheller.
i have a slight clue where this was. the fossil was pointed out to eli hexton by some coal miners walking along the trail to work (you can see the path on the left in the photo). hexton in this picture is in turn pointing it out to slate. i just need to figure out which coal mine this might be near...
i have next to no clues on this one.
the last of the 1912 photos. this is one of only instances we know slate to have collected something himself... the weird part he doesn't tell us what it is though...
sadly there are contradicting clues on where this is. he at one point or another says the site is near the star, the north american, midland, and/or the atlas 3 coal mines in his description. those mines couldn't be further apart. covering the entirety of the drumheller section of the valley. it was almost like he was deliberately hiding this spot!
what is curious about it is that slate states in the photo he is directly attempting to track down a "diminutive tyrannosaurid dinosaur". yet he is clearly looking across a valley with binoculars, which wouldn't help look for fossils in the hills far away. i think he mislabelled it, and this is him scouting for good outcrops.
no clues again...
i could tell he was going to ask me a million questions, and frankly i had a few for him. how the heck was it we both ended up at the tyrrell museum only a couple months after both being in australia? i knew he was very much wanting to know the same thing.
for who you might ask? and why would i bother telling you about someone else's big day?
well partially because i am funding their whole effort, and their two very important beings to me (one dinosaur and the other human) i thought it'd be worth mentioning.
after talking to peter bond and eee-mailing lillian the albertosaur, i was getting kind of anxious about them getting to their goal of the american museum of natural history in new york city.
well as of this morning, i can stop worrying. peter gave me a call telling me they'd arrived safe and sound...
more to the point, they were in the perfect spot for lillian to trying and work her way back up to stardom.
not that the american museum of natural history (AMNH from here on in... man that is a lot of typing in the long version!) is an easy place for a dinosaur to stand out in! the place has many many of them, and their some of the most spectacular specimens and exhibits in the world!
you'll not the lovely apatosaurus (or brontosaurus... i personally like brontosaurus more, but that's the bakker fanatic in my talking) skeleton mount behind lillian and peter. sadly this is the only good photo of it they sent me. apparently it is so big it's hard to photograph.
the best part being that the AMNH doesn't currently have a resident dinosaur for lillian to have to compete with!
while lillian was breaking into this new role, a very pleased peter (than again when isn't he pleased come to think of it?) wandered the hall and took some pictures of the residents to show me.
a very cool specimen to see is this panel mounted centrosaurus. if you recall this was part of the case study of darren's i took you through to see how he finds lost and mystery quarrys. very cool to see it is still on display. found in 1914 by brown, if you don't recall that particular detail.
one of the most important historic skeletons on display is that of saurolophus. this is THE first complete dinosaur skeleton ever found in canada by brown in 1911.
speaking of lillian, peter sent this as a concluding photo. lillian interacting with a visitor to the museum. bond assures me that lillian has been a hit in her first day, and that he is going to try to negotiate with the AMNH to keep her on full time.
i can only hope he is successful. so i wait with some anticipation to hear good news from new york.
hopefully this plan of mine will see lillian made real happy, and i will finally make an impression in her heart...
awesome to hear from you lillian!
glad you and peter are making progress. i have noticed he is cheerful all the time too. just one of his quirks i guess. no harm has ever come from being positive though has it?... actually come to think of it i've never looked that up.
i wish i could check out new york! though the potential of smelling millions of people at once doesn't sound entirely fun.
why you would want to come to such a concentration of mammals i do not understand, traumdor.
not that it is anything like nighttime here. with the number of light orbs they have around this place it is almost as bright as dusk or dawn!
i guess that's to be expected. new york has seen a lot of stranger and scarier things than you...
oh sorry. just a bunch of stuff i saw in some documentaries on the TV.
point is based on what i've seen of new york, typically you don't have much to worry about. even if things get hairy and the city is destroyed, they seem to rebuild it every time... in the amount of time it takes for the end credits to segue into the evening news! can you believe that!
it must be nice to be in a place where people aren't terrified of dinosaurs. now i really want to go. i'm looking for such a place!
i find i miss you less talking to you again on this puter box. i hope it is merely the meaning of your words is lost as they travel the world. or is that you truly are so stupid?
this place has been perfectly safe. for me in any case. peter human has had some frightful moments when he was approached by darkly clothed mammals. he claims everything "was just peachy", but i could smell the fear he was emitting. i wonder are these stealthy humans predators of some kind?
there is only a few more hours before morning and the museum opens. peter human is hoping they'll let me sleep somewhere within, and he can find his own sleeping territory.
i hope you are finding something worthwhile in drumheller. i miss our old home, and very much wish we could trade places. that way you could visit your precious dinosaur "friendly" city, and i could return to a place where we can at least exist.