Burpee Museum Field Crews have been working at the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry for a little over a week and are squarely into session one of the Jurassic Journey Expedition Program. And already, the crews have an exciting new find to share!
On Sunday, May 25, 2014, students from McLennan Community College’s field camp program worked the site with the Burpee Crew. They helped finish opening the site and then set to work excavating on both sites within in the quarry. One of the McLennan students quietly worked one edge of the Middle Quarry site, near what the crew had initially thought to be some crushed, fragmentary bones. After a few hours of very careful work, he approached Scott Williams, Burpee Museum’s Director of Collections and Exhibits with a curious bone. This bone wasn’t just any bone, it was an osteoderm – a piece of an ankylosaur’s armor.
Many people know of Ankylosaurus, the armor-plated, tail club-wielding dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous, but the ankylosaur family tree reaches back into the Jurassic with species like Mymoorapelta and Gargoyleosaurus. Even more exciting, ankylosaurs are some of the rarest dinosaurs to find in Late Jurassic sediment. Burpee Crews have at least 10 osteoderms so far, and are continuing to excavate the area with hopes of finding more elements.