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Geologist or paleontologist?

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Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby Scott P » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:46 am

On a canyoneering route, one of my friends found a "dinosaur" skeleton. There are also several giant fern fossils nearby.

As far as the "dinosaur" skeleton goes, the rock there actually dates from the Permian, which is older than the dinosaurs.

After searching, I found that some reptile fossils have been found in the same rock layers in the region:

http://nmgs.nmt.edu/publications/guidebooks/downloads/24/24_p0099_p0105.pdf

Does anyone know of a paleontoligist that might be interested in taking a look at the bones? The BLM didn't show much interest.
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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby jsdratm » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:55 am

If he has the fossils or some good pictures in his possession, he can take them to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I'm sure one of the paleontology staff would be happy to look at it. He should provide as many details as possible on where it was found (GPS coordinates and elevation) to help them pinpoint what formation it came from.

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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby Scott P » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:36 pm

He should provide as many details as possible on where it was found (GPS coordinates and elevation) to help them pinpoint what formation it came from.


Given the location, I can already identify the formations that would be present. It would have to either be at the very bottom of the Cedar Mesa Sandstone (formerly known as the Coconino in the San Rafael Swell, but now thought to be Cedar Mesa) or the very top of the Elephant Canyon Formation.

It was located 1/3 of the way down the gully entrance to the technical section of Eardley Canyon in the San Rafael Swell. I can try to get a coordinate location.
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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby peter303 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:21 pm

There is a hobby paleontology club that meets the first Monday evening every month at the Science Museum 7PM.
It is named the Western Interior Paleontological Socirty aftetr the ocean that covered Colorado some times ago.

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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby Scott P » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:08 pm

There is a hobby paleontology club that meets the first Monday evening every month at the Science Museum 7PM.


That would be a very long drive for me just to find out if anyone might be interested, but if anyone does go to those meetings, feel free to mention this and see if anyone would be interested in seeing the bones.
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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby nyker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 pm

Someone at the University of Colorado would likely have an interest:

Maybe here?
http://cumuseum.colorado.edu/about-us/staff-directory

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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby milan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:56 am

Hey,
I've been interested in paleontology for maybe 20 years, I am collecting fossils and rocks and have close connection to real paleontologists who study this as science and who work in National Museum in Prague. I am not in the USA but if you post some pictures (or PM me with them), I would like to take a look at them and if I know, I can tell you what your friend found. If I can't figure out, I know people who will. I've been collecting in permian shales and have some amphibian skeletons here and I assume that's what your friend found because amphibians tend to be abundant permian fossils. In case he found something else, it would be rare. In late carboniferous and permian, the reptiles split into major groups such as mammal-like reptiles (edaphosaurus etc.) that later evolved into mammals; another branch evolved into dinosaurs and the third remained reptiles as we know them today. I would also be interested in seeing a pictures of those ferns. Just reminder, in your country, you have federal law, that prohibits collection of vertebrates on federal land without permission.

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Re: Geologist or paleontologist?

Postby Scott P » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:11 am

I am not in the USA but if you post some pictures (or PM me with them), I would like to take a look at them and if I know, I can tell you what your friend found. If I can't figure out, I know people who will.


Since it was found over a decade ago, no photos on hand (which is one reason why I'd like to have someone go look at it with me). If he finds some, I will send them.

I've been collecting in permian shales and have some amphibian skeletons here and I assume that's what your friend found because amphibians tend to be abundant permian fossils.


In the same region, these fossils have been found in the same era rock formations:

Image

A wild guess/speculation says that it might be something like that because they have been found not far away and in the same age rocks.

Anyway, the conversation about the bones above, actually stemmed from a recent canyoneering trip where someone found a "skeleton". Cut and paste post:

We found some really cool dinosaur bones last month when we did Rock of Ages. I forgot all about them until a friend posted this picture on Facebook. It looked like a lot of the dino was present. Brian in SLC first noticed what looks to be the backbone, and a little more exploring produced more bones. Every person that has done ROA's has walked right over the top of these bones as they are located on the exit trail after that last rappel, just past where you stop to view the Anasazi ruin across the drainage. I didn't have my camera with me at the time so this is the only picture I have. This is the second dino that we have discovered while canyoneering, the first was in Eardley Canyon about 2/3's of the way down the death gulley. We also found a dino trackway in the east fork of Leprechaun Canyon.

Anyhoo.... I thought ya'll might be interested.... enjoy...


This one does have photos, but it's hard to tell what you are looking at:

Image

It is claimed that some of the bones looked just like a vertebrae (some of the group might be considered amateur geologists and have seen many real dinosaur bones in the ground before and said these ones look the same). This one I am skeptical about because it is in the bottom of the Navajo SS (right where it meets the Kayenta). There was a skeleton discovered recently in the Navajo Sanstone, but they are very rare (there are dinosaur bones all over the Moab area, but the vast majority of them are in the Morrison Formation).

I was on the trip, but the group split and I was on a different route. It would be easy to provide directions to go find this one. The conversation then switched to the giant ferns and bones in Eardley Canyon, which are the ones I'm hoping that a paleontologist might be interested in taking a look.

Just reminder, in your country, you have federal law, that prohibits collection of vertebrates on federal land without permission.


Yes. I was not planning on removing anything. In fact, even if I wanted to (which I don't), getting big bones through a technical canyon would be extremely difficult at best. This is the route they are located on:

http://climb-utah.com/SRS/eardley.htm

I'll probably do the route again to try and see the giant ferns and bones, and get photographs, but it would be nice if I could find a paleontologist that might be interested in coming along. Sometimes it's better to see things in person rather than in photographs. Worst case scenario would be that they are getting a free guided trip though an adventurous slot canyon and get to see some giant fern fossils.

PS, not to long ago I did find a very well preserved fossil of a creature on Duffy Mountain in Colorado. At first, I thought might be a plant, but a paleontologist told me that it was definitely an animal, but she and her colleagues couldn't identify it. If you are interested, I'll be happy to show some photos of that one.
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