A bone in the process of being revealed.
We took a small side trip to this site in Wyoming to help excavate this large pit. The most complete Allosaurus skeleton ever found was dug up here.
Every summer, The Museum of the Rockies, at Montana State University
sends out several expedition crews throughout Montana to dig up dinosaurs. Being a volunteer on one of those crews is an extremely rewarding experience, and one that I hope to repeat one day. The Museum is always looking for volunteers to go on their digs so if you are interested, contact them.
If you think you'd like to volunteer, be warned. The hours are long, the work is at times back-breaking, and the accomodations are about as spartan as they can be. We went into town just once a week to shower and do laundry. I built this house to make life in camp a little easier.
This is me and Dr. Jack Horner, who is the Director of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, and probably the best known paleontologist in the world. He is the man on whom Michael Crichton based the character of Dr.Grant in Jurassic Park.
When you are surrounded by such beauty, it is sometimes hard to stay focused on the work at hand.
Our crew spent many sweaty days removing layers of rock, called overburden, to expose the bone bed beneath. This particular site is on the side of 'Nellie's Nipple' -- a large conical formation in the badlands of southeastern Montana near the town of Bridger. Many specimens of a species called Deinonychus -- a close cousin to the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park -- were recovered at this site.
Also provided for the crew were meals (which were excellent), and...(ahem)...beverages.
Volunteers are expected to bring their own tools for detailed excavation work. These include a rock hammer, various brushes, kneepads (a must), and even a dentist's pick. Larger tools, such as the jackhammer pictured above, are provided for the crew.