Well it’s more of a cliff than a mountain, and more of a small dip in the prairie, but that’s where the ‘Julieraptor’ was found and there may well be more to find. Thanks to the landowners I am heading back to Montana in 2010 to excavate the hill where ‘Julieraptor’ was found. This is the small, undescribed maniraptoran dinosaur (commonly referred to as ‘raptors’; entirely wrong but go kick Universal Studios) that was stolen but is now safely prepared and in the process of being scientifically described.
Problem is there is a portion of the front of the skull missing, so we need to properly excavate the site for the first time since 2002 and see what else we can add to the skeleton. Plus we may find other dinosaurs, possibly new to science, or we’ll find nothing at all. That is exploration! But there is a good chance we shall find not only extra pieces of Julieraptor but other fossils of Cretaceous life including fish, crocodiles, mammals and perhaps the rare but vicious raptor eating turtles that haunt that area of Montana ; ) The geology and depositional setting (‘taphonomy’) of the Julieraptor site will also be surveyed and add valuable information to this fascinating specimen.
I am in discussion with a major museum to help run a volunteer program on the 2 week dig, so get in touch if you have enough money to head over there with me and join in for a significantly interesting time.
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