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February 19, 2010 | Mark | Comments 0

Julieraptor Dinosaur Dig Now Off – Rare raptor tied up in criminal case released for study

22fossil2_650Julieraptor, the rare birdlike dinosaur specimen I found in 2002 on private land in Montana and helped return to it’s rightful owner in 2009 is reportedly on the verge of being acquired by a museum. Fortunately for science, the landowners are committed to selling the ‘raptor’ to a regional museum and not the private market, therefore ensuring the future study of the yet-to-be identified Cretaceous maniraptoran.

This is good news as we feared a sale may take a long time, delaying knowledge of this fascinating dinosaur ‘beastie’ further. But unfortunately for me and potential Raptor Mountain diggers, this has caused the landowner to halt further excavations of the site until further notice, forcing us to cancel our plans to dig in Montana this year. For those getting ready to jump in and come over this year my sincerest apologies. We had a great response from people keen to help dig dinosaurs this year and I can only hope you all stay in touch and we’ll be trying our hardest to organise something special for 2011.

I feel that I can do only two things right now, the first being to continue that free lecture as promised. Due to work committments I will have to make that in April, but will let everyone know here or by email the venue. Second  if you are going to be in the USA or still  keen to dinosaur dig this year let me recommend some people and places I know you will have a fantastic experience with… In Montana there are great dinosaur dig programs for a day or week at Timescale Adventures in the beautiful foothills and Cretaceous rocks of the Montana Rockies. Also for a dinosaur dig in the Jurassic period (big fellas – sauropods mostly) I can thoroughly recommend the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre. And in case you need another option I just noticed the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is running a dig that the public can join in Wyoming in July and August.

So sorry again everyone, but let’s look forward to exciting news of the Julieraptor soon.

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