Earth Sciences in Mongolia

Earth Sciences doctoral students John Graf and Thomas Adams, who provided the reports for this blog, along with Professor Louis L. Jacobs, are traveling to Mongolia as a part of a multi-international dinosaur expedition hosted by the city of Hwaseong in the Republic of Korea. The purpose of the project is to discover, collect and study dinosaur fossils from the Gobi desert in Mongolia, which is one of the most important dinosaur localities in the world.
In addition to SMU researchers, the multinational team includes researchers from Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) and Paleontological Center, Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the University of Alberta, Canada. The project will be augmented each year by additional researchers from countries including the United States, Canada, Japan and China.

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On film, and out of burlap

Sept%201.jpg We have found more tail vertebrae continuing into the hill, expanding the size of the jacket. We will try to remove some of the isolated bones in smaller blocks before taking out the larger block with most of the exposed tail vertebrae. The BBC film crew stopped by the quarry to interview Louis and film our excavation.

On top of the short time left to finish the excavation, we have run out of burlap. Burlap strips are dipped in plaster and applied to the fossil blocks to protect the bones, just like a plaster cast on a broken arm. The entire camp has donated t-shirts, towels, pants and socks to be used as substitutes for burlap. The hope is that they will be just as strong in making plaster jackets.

(In photo: John Graf and Louis Jacobs plaster jacketing the large block containing part of the Barsboldia tail.)

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