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Episode 397: How you can discover fossils


    Episode 397: How you can discover fossils. Sources and teams that may enable you get began searching for fossils. Plus, which instruments to carry, determine a rock from a fossil, and locations you may 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 ebook with many beneficial photographs and descriptions, plus hyperlinks to extra assets. supply
    • myFOSSIL, an internet site that’s “constructing a group of novice {and professional} paleontologists.” supply
    • The Fossil Discussion board may also 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)
    • Regarded just like Velociraptor, walked on two legs, had sickle claws, an extended 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 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 evenly constructed than different dromaeosaurids
    • Had a comparatively massive mind
    • Had a big olfactory bulb, so in all probability had a very good sense of scent
    • Agile and quick
    • Most likely had feathers
    • Had curved, blade-like enamel
    • Had massive enamel within the entrance of its jaws
    • A few of its enamel 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 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 practically full skeleton in 2014)
    • First fossils present in 1974 by Irene Vanderloh in Dinosaur Park Formation
    • Holotype consists of enamel, elements of the cranium, two vertebrae, ribs, elements 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 plenty of enamel and bones discovered)
    • Extra Saurornitholestes enamel and bones have been discovered than Dromaeosaurus
    • 4 extra 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 almost full, aside 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 no less than 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 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 could have been at “least two main faunal interchanges between Asia and North America through the Cretaceous”
    • North American dromaeosaurids in all probability 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 title 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 seemed on the enamel of a number of coelurosaurs to check 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 related 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 had been inbuilt a method they couldn’t deal with struggling prey, or else they’d break, so Troodon in all probability went for small prey
    • Saurornitholestes had distinct serrations on the enamel
    • Serrations on the again fringe of the enamel had 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, in all probability 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 enamel (too completely different to be Saurornitholestes, and most probably 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 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 may typically discover fossils in Igneous rocks & metamorphic rocks (not simply Sedimentary rocks).

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