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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Tracking dinosaur footprints

Aug%2025.jpg The next few days will be spent working at the ornithomimid quarry/track site measuring, mapping and photographing the dinosaur footprints. The site has been expanded to about 30 square meters with 70 tracks exposed. There are 13 trackways and 13 isolates tracks, representing at least four different types of dinosaur. After we collect all the data we will choose the best representatives of each track type and remove blocks that will be put on display in Korea.

Yoshi Kobayashi, who has spent several years doing paleontology in Mongolia, had a conversation with one of the cooks about who the new people are in camp. Turns out that my name has been causing some confusion with our Mongolian friends. Tom translates to “big” in Mongolian, and Thomas, which sounds like tom yas, translates to “big fossil or bone.” So when Yoshi told Otgoo my name was Tom, she responded “Yes, I know he’s big, but what is his name?”

(In photo: John Graf at the ornithomimid quarry/track site.)

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