High School Student Discovers Baby Dinosaur Skeleton in National Monument

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posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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One more reason why not to close national parks...

High School Student Discovers Baby Dinosaur Skeleton in National Monument




Here's another reason to avoid closing down national parks and monuments: They're teeming with dinosaur fossils, and some of them are right on the surface, ready to be found.

In 2009, high school student Kevin Terris was trekking through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah when something at his feet caught his eye. "At first I was interested in seeing what the initial piece of bone sticking out of the rock was," Terris told scientists. "When we exposed the skull, I was ecstatic!"

Terris had stumbled upon a nearly complete skeleton of a baby Parasaurolophus, a plant-eating dinosaur that roamed western North America around 75 million years ago. The discovery, announced Tuesday by Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in California, is the youngest and most complete fossil skeleton on record for this species of dinosaur. See 3D digital scans of the entire skeleton here.

The skeleton of the baby Parasaurolophus, nicknamed "Joe." (Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology)

Using a sample of bone tissue, scientists determined that the duck-billed dinosaur, nicknamed "Joe," was less than a year old when it died, according to a study published in the open access scientific journal Peer. "Dinosaurs have yearly growth rings in their bone tissue, like trees. But we didn't see even one ring," said study coauthor Sarah Werning of Stony Brook University. "That means it grew to a quarter of adult size in less than a year." Joe, who measured six feet in length, would have grown to 25 feet in adulthood.

The discovery provides scientists with more information about Parasaurolophus's development. The dinosaur, which you may remember from a brief cameo in Jurassic Park, is most known for a long, curved bony tube on top of its skull. Scientists speculate the hollow tube was used to emit calls, like a trumpet blasting sound, for communication. Joe's skull has a small bump, the beginnings of its species signature headgear. Its smaller shape means that the baby dinosaur likely sounded like, well, a baby—its call probably was high in pitch, perhaps even squeaky, compared with its parents.


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I was not sure where to place this, it is interesting find by kids 4 years ago, released in study today.



The fossil, nicknamed "Joe", was found by a high school student in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.
"Joe" is a baby Parasaurolophus, the most complete skeleton yet known from this herbivorous tube-crested dinosaur that lived 75 million years ago.
"Joe" was less than six feet long and under a year old when it died, and would have grown to an adult measuring nearly 25 feet long.
"Joe" shows that Parasaurolophus formed its unusual headgear by expanding some of its skull bones earlier and for a longer period of time than its close relatives.
The skeleton of "Joe" is the most complete digitally-accessible dinosaur to date, with 3D models and scans of virtually every aspect of its anatomy freely available for download.
High school students were involved in the collection, study, and publication of this rare find, through the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology at The Webb Schools in Claremont, California.

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edit on 22-10-2013 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 02:14 PM
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This is great, as well fact that high school students helped with collection, study, and publication of this find. I wish I had such an opportunity when I was kid.

This is how more kids can develop interest in paleontology.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 02:17 PM
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Oh Op... You have captured my imagination and tickled my greatest fancy. It's why I took Geography last year and Anthropolgy this year in college. What lay out in the world to be found ...and just hasn't been tripped over yet, for what it can tell us about our own past? The more I learn in a formal and structured setting, the more my curiosity is driven to learn even more.

Thanks for the share! Who knows just what lay within inches of plain view or may be exposed by the next major storm?



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 06:58 PM
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This is like the kid who walks in the Diamond Park and finds a $15,000 Rock!!





 
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