Saturday, December 02, 2006

Nevada’s 1st ‘Land Based’ Dinos Unveiled

From the Helena Independent Record:

Put on display for the first time Thursday were the femur of the raptor, dromaeosaur, the teeth of a sauropod, a tyrannosauroid and an iguanodont and unidentified dinosaur eggshell fragments. It marked a breakthrough in a state that had only turned up marine fossils until now, said Eugene Hattori, the state’s curator of anthropology.

The remnants, found at secret excavation sites in southern Nevada, pushed the known range of the ancient reptiles about 250 miles farther west, said Joshua Bonde, a graduate earth science student at Montana State University who is leading the dig.

The area is believed to have once been a flood plain where the creatures lived and died for many generations from 99 million to 112 million years ago, Bonde said.

Bonde and his supervisor, Montana State paleontologist Dave Varricchio, discovered the site while prospecting in an area that had rock formations dating to the dinosaur age.

The find was presented in a tent on the site of a future state museum where they will be housed.