Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fossil Friday – ceratopsid ilium

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On May 17, I posted a photo of the ilium of a ceratopsid dinosaur that we collected in the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico. At the time, only the medial surface of the bone was visible; however, WSC volunteer Joe Reavis has been working hard and has now prepped the lateral surface as well. On May 17, I identified the bone as a left ilium, but now that I can see the whole thing, I can say that it’s actually a right ilium.

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Fossil Friday – Back from Field Work

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The first part of the Western Science Center’s summer field season with Zuni Dinosaur Institute for the Geosciences and the Southwest Paleontological Society is now over, and that means lots of new fossils have been brought to the museum!

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Fossil Friday – Miocene horses

Hello! I’m Brittney Stoneburg, the Marketing and Events Specialist for the Western Science Center. While my job mostly entails communications and outreach at the museum, I’ve spent the last year dipping my toes into research!

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A Scaphohippus dentary

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Fossil Friday – ceratopsid illium

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Last week for Fossil Friday, I posted the sacrum of a ceratopsid, a large horned dinosaur related to Triceratops. The sacrum is a series of fused vertebrae to which the hip bones attach. Today, I want to show you one of those hip bones from the same ceratopsid individual.

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Fossil Friday – ceratopsian sacrum

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Horned dinosaurs were one of the most successful groups of dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of western North America. Known as ceratopsids, these rhino- to elephant-sized beasts brandished horns, spikes, and frills on their massive skulls.

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Fossil Friday – fern

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Over the last year or so, I’ve posted many bones from large herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in New Mexico around 79 million years ago, such as duck-billed hadrosaurs, horned ceratopsids, and the armored Invictarx.

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Fossil Friday – Mistaken Identity

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On March 8 Fossil Friday, I posted an 80-million-year-old dinosaur bone from New Mexico, which I identified as a tibia (shin bone). At the time, it was only partially prepped, and since then, WSC volunteer Joe Reavis has been working tirelessly to remove the remaining mudstone.

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Fossil Friday – dinosaur tibia

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We have discovered many isolated dinosaur limb bones in the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico. Although it’s difficult to infer the full appearance of a dinosaur from a single bone, even isolated bones can tell us a great deal about what kinds of dinosaurs were roaming around 80 million years ago, and can be very surprising!

This bone was collected by my colleagues at the Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences and volunteers with the Southwest Paleontological Society in 2015. We have been thinking that it was possibly two dinosaur limb bones next to each other. However, Western Science Center volunteer Joe Reavis opened up the plaster jacket this week, and it turns out that it contains a single massive shin bone, a tibia. The bone is still partially encased in mudstone, but we’ll keep working on it to determine what sort of dinosaur walked around on this immensely thick bone.

Post by Curator Dr. Andrew McDonald.

Fossil Friday – dinosaur limb bone

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In the Western Science Center lab, we’re making steady progress through several field seasons’ worth of fossils from the Menefee Formation in New Mexico. We’re working on fossils of dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, and plants, all dating to around 80 million years ago.

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Fossil Friday – ceratopsian vertebra

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On January 25, I showed you a horned dinosaur vertebra that was still partially encased in its plaster field jacket. Continue reading