Excavation of British Columbia's First Complete Dinosaur (V)


The fifth year of the hadrosaur excavation began in the first week of July. From the palaeontologists' perspective the weather was great the whole summer so that not a single day was lost to rain. The good weather in 2012 almost made up for the poor weather of 2011.

 

Volunteers Nadine and Jon Secord assisting with the first part of the excavation.

 

PRPRC field assistant Richard Boulding takes exception to being photographed.

 

Yet another juvenile tyrannosaur tooth. The site has produced over 50 such teeth to date.

 

The trenching around the specimen has begun. This is a necessary step towards the objective of trimming the rock around the specimen, undercutting the specimen, completing the plaster jacket and finally removing it.

 

A view of the pit.

 

An isolated upper arm bone (humerus) of the hadrosaur.

 

The main specimen is being undercut and stabilized with plaster-soaked burlap. In the end, the entire section of articulated hadrosaur bones will be completely encased in several layers of plaster, and will be entirely parted from the ground where it has resided for nearly 74 million years.

 

A one metre-long tibia (the shin bone - largest of the paired bones of the lower leg) overlain by a long rib and all laying alongside a very large and long upper leg bone (femur) just below the blue tray.

 

The tibia, rib and a vertebra are covered with a tissue separator prior to the application of plaster and burlap.

 

The main specimen is now up on blocks with reinforcing supports for its anticipated airlift out. The removal of the specimen did not happen in 2012 because of the lack of availability of helicopters due to them all being occupied by fighting forest fires as a result of the long dry summer. The specimen was buried for the winter and palaeontologists will attempt to remove it in the following year.