One More Tracksite Before Winter
|A report of
yet another new track site reached the PRPRC in early October. This site
was found by a local guide/outfitter and appeared to have a trackway of a
large theropod near the base of a cliff. The track surface appeared
fragile so it was decided to bring all the necessary supplies to make a
replica mould that would at least preserve a permanent record of some of
the tracks. The expedition to this site took place in the last week of
October, with temperatures dropping below freezing, even during the day.
The palaeontologists were in a race to get the replica made before the
first snowfall made the site inaccessible, or became too cold for the
moulding materials to cure a viable replica.
The mould was successfully completed in the last few days of October and the site was covered so that it would be protected until the following year.
Charles Helm and Rich McCrea excavate a large theropod trackway.
Moulding of the trackway was done in silicone and went well into the evening. The temperature of the silicone could not drop below freezing, so a propane heater and tarps were employed to protect the uncured mould.
A rare, four-toed theropod track (Saurexallopus ichnosp.).