Dinosaur Fossils Found In Laurel, Clearly In The Rain

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Years of scraping the rocks and go through the lose dirt Hacker Dave taught important lessons of the fossil record. So when recent storms dumped nearly 10 inches of rain is an area of ​​Silver Spring resident grabbed a knife and headed for the Dinosaur Laurel Park to see what he could find.

What he found was the largest dinosaur fossil to leave the park in five years - probably a big dinosaur bone from a herbivore and the evidence that after 300 years of archaeology excavations, the floor of the metropolitan region has a rich history to discover buried .

"Usually what we have here are small fragments and bones, but in this case is a much larger bone," said Hacker, who made a hobby of volunteering in the Dinosaur Park. "It struck me because it looked a little different. To the untrained eye, it looks like a big rock."

The dinosaurs fossil was released Wednesday from its 100 million-year-old tomb at the Smithsonian Institution PREPARATORY Y Steve Jabo. The size of a head of cabbage and the color of a dirty potato was wrapped in the fossil plaster custody until a team of technicians and volunteers at the Smithsonian National Museum of History natural could purify and identify the bones.

Last week, researchers at Johns Hopkins University announced that a fossil found in College Park belonged to a dinosaur called nodosaur rearing tanks. It was found in 1997 in the stream bed and donated to the Smithsonian.

As Mr. Jabo shoveled a delicate mixture of damp earth, clay and wood away from the large fossil, he told the curious type, bone excavated Mr. Hacker will be quickly identified, but reduced to a kind of dinosaur can take time.

But a good guess is that it came from Astrodon, a large herbivore with a long neck, which also happens to be the official dinosaur of Maryland.

Scientists believe that an adult could Astrodon stretch 60 feet from nose to tail and weigh several tons. 20 years ago, a 6-foot, 220 pounds of large reptilian femur was discovered in the park.

"This is an important finding for the park," said Donald Creveling, Director of Archaeology Department Prince George's County Parks and Recreation. "What makes this park significant is that it is one of few places east of the Mississippi River, where dinosaur bones and fossils commonly found. "

The fossils found on the surface of the park, but the torrential rains are what give the erosion occurs, and to reveal new specimens.

Wednesday's digging was limited to shovels professionals throughout the year the park opened to the public, so history buffs can give way a hand in the fossil finds.

Smithsonian archeologists did not make the trip to Laurel in five years, said Peter Kranz, a paleontologist and education program coordinator for the dinosaur park.

The park is located at the end of an industrial park, about five miles northwest of Baltimore-Washington Parkway, just off Route 1.

Although the place is half way between Washington and Baltimore, the story of the appropriate place for a wide variety of fossils.

More than 100 million years, climate and geography of Maryland was similar to the swamps of southern Louisiana today.

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


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