Dinosaur Bones Found In Laurel

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Researchers working on Dinosaur Park Laurel on Wednesday, the largest dinosaur fossil found in Maryland dug in five years.

It is too early to say with certainty what kind of legs it had. "It's not a thigh bone, possibly part of a femoral head," said Smithsonian fossil PREPARATORY Y Steve Jabo, 50, who has most of the digging to free the fossil bones of Site dense clay.

The importance of the discovery will not be known before the fossil has been cleaned and studied at the National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution, Jabo said.

But he said it could be a part of the plant eating sauropods leg bone, perhaps a relative of my Astrodon JOHNSTON - Dinosaur State Maryland - teeth and other remains have been raised in 150 years.

6-foot-long, 239-pound Astrodon femur was discovered there in 1991, and 2-foot model was born in 2006.

They all date from the middle of the Cretaceous era, about 112 million years ago when the Interstate 95 corridor was a coastal area like southern Louisiana Bayou today, with meandering rivers and lakes.

The latest discovery came out of the clay at September 10 amateur paleontologist David Hacker was discovered by inspecting the location of new fossils exposed by heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

Hacker, 52, is the lead volunteer in the park, and that includes many years. It checks the site regularly and cares for the fossil until it can be transferred to the Smithsonian.

Before the search, the visible part of their find was 8 to 10 inches wide and it appeared that some of the femoral condyles - the bottom of the thigh bone that forms the top half of the knee joint.

"David and [amateur paleontologist] Mike Styer probed around her and could not determine how [the dirt], it is," says Peter Kranz, a geologist who heads the Washington public programs in the park. "There can be little left of him, or it could be her."

Rather than risk the destruction of fragile bones, Kranz said, "they both concluded that the best is to have technicians out the Smithsonian."

"I think it's a dinosaur bone for sure," Jabo said shortly after arriving at the site. "There was nothing so great that it would not be a dinosaur here."

During the archaeology excavations an hour, Jabo and other trainer Peter Kroehler, 56, carefully cleared of sticky clay, rocks, iron ore and brown coal - anthracite, as remnants of ancient trees - the fossil contained.

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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