Day -1: Who, What, Where, and Why???

Welcome to the Feathered Dinosaur Death Pit Expedition 2012!

After several long months getting the new Paleontology & Geology Research Laboratory up and running at the Nature Research Center, the paleo team is itching to get out of town.

We’ve purchased all our necessary supplies, plaster, shovels, tarps, glue… the list goes on and on.  In fact, we’ve got two Chevy Suburban’s stuffed full of field gear.

And now it’s finally time.  Time to dig something up, which technically, is what we do best.

Tomorrow we’ll head out on a three-week expedition to hunt for dinosaurs and ancient crocodiles in the heart of the Utah desert.  The first week of our expedition will be scouring a series of Early Cretaceous badlands for new fossil localities (a process termed prospecting).  This part of the trip mostly involves identifying good sites to dig up next year.

After that, we’ll head over to the Crystal Geyser Dinosaur Quarry (or what I affectionately call the Feathered Dinosaur Death Pit).  On this spot 125 million years ago hundreds of individuals of the bird-like dinosaur Falcarius utahensis died and were entombed in a single mass grave.  We’ll spend about two weeks digging here and hopefully collecting many, many bones of Falcarius to bring back to the lab for preparation and research.  You can learn more about the Crystal Geyser Quarry by visiting www.rockethub.com and searching for “dinosaur death pit.”  You can also sign up for rewards like a phone call from the quarry or a replica of a Falcarius claw, dug up during our upcoming expedition.

We’ll blogging as often as we can, so come back to read more about how the expedition is going.

Until next time.

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