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2008-10-06 – Alla ricerca di fondi per lo studio di “Leonardo” (Brachylophosaurus canadensis, founding)

More money sought for dinosaur work

Oct 06, 2008 – 04:05:20 CDT

Researchers working on a rare mummified dinosaur are seeking more money to complete the project. Possible funding sources might be from as far away as Japan.

The National Geographic Society has funded most of the research so far on Dakota, a 67-million-year-old Edmontosaurus with fossilized skin that was unearthed in southwestern North Dakota.

An arm and tail that workers removed from the sandstone casing went on display in mid-June at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. In a back room, paleontologists continue the detailed work of removing a much larger chunk of rock that houses more of the dinosaur.

Tyler Lyson, a doctoral paleontology student at Yale University who discovered the dinosaur on his uncle’s ranch in the North Dakota Badlands in 1999, has estimated that another $100,000 would be needed to finish the work.

“The body block (work) is slow,” Lyson said. “The rock is harder and the skin is harder to see. They have uncovered some beautiful patches of skin around the ankles of the animal, as well as the upper part of the rib cage.”

The National Geographic Society estimated this past summer that it had spent about $200,000 for the work on Dakota.

Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at Manchester University in England and a key member of the international team researching Dakota, said he intends to submit another grant request to the society. He declined to provide details.

Society spokeswoman Barbara Moffet stopped short of saying the request would be granted, though she said, “We are still fascinated with this research and looking forward to getting involved in the next chapter.”

Lyson said this month that a Japanese company might pay to display Dakota in that country for three months next year.

Dakota is among just a few mummified dinosaurs in the world, and researchers say it might be the best in terms of quality and quantity of preserved skin. Animal tissue typically decomposes quickly after death and most dinosaur fossils are only bone. Researchers say Dakota must have been buried rapidly and in just the right environment for its skin and soft tissues to be replaced by minerals and preserved.

Sometime this winter, Lyson plans to fly the prepared arm to Manchester to have it put through a CT scan, he said.

The body block earlier was examined in the world’s largest CT scanner, operated by the Boeing Co. in California and used to examine space shuttle parts.

Researchers still are not sure what all the block of rock contains, said state paleontologist John Hoganson, with the North Dakota Geological Survey.He said researchers have discovered in recent months that some of the bones do not have preserved skin.

“For a while, we thought the entire fossil was enveloped in skin, but now we’re finding very large areas … where the skin was not preserved,” he said.

Hoganson said work slowed on the body block over the summer because paleontologists were out in the field. “We probably have about a month of funding left,” he said.


ottobre 6, 2008 - Posted by | America Northern, P - Preservazione eccezionale, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , ,

1 commento »

  1. […]  2008-10-06 – Alla ricerca di fondi per lo studio di “Leonardo” (Brachylophosaurus canadensis, f… […]

    Pingback di 2008-10-28 - Utah, USA: Nuovi interrogativi sulle mummie di dinosauro (Dinosaur mummies) « PaleonewsITA | ottobre 28, 2008


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