Camarasaurus discovered in Wyoming, USA

This video is called Tribute to Camarasaurus.

From Associated Press:

SHELL, Wyo. A near complete Camarosaurus dinosaur fossil is being excavated in northern Wyoming.

The skeleton was found last month near Shell and is estimated to be more than 90 percent complete.

The Camarosaurus lived about 130 (m) million years ago and averaged about 40 feet in length.

The name is Camarasaurus.

When Camarasaurus Went to Texas: here.

Juvenile sauropod in Wyoming: here.


7 thoughts on “Camarasaurus discovered in Wyoming, USA

  1. A dino-myte discovery

    Billings Gazette Monday, July 16, 2007

    SHELL — Though hidden for 150 million years, the fossilized skeleton of a 15-ton dinosaur has been revealed in only a month, thanks to long hours of painstaking work by volunteer bone-hunters.

    “I’ve never seen one like this. It’s pretty spectacular,” said Robert “Bosco” Boscarelli, one of six volunteers working with geologist Bob Simon of Dinosaur Safaris to excavate the bones of a camarasaurus.

    Growing up to 60 feet long, the camarasaurus had spoon-shaped teeth used to tear plants.

    It probably swallowed stones to help break down the rough food in its stomach, similar to some modern birds’ use of gizzard stones, Simon said.

    The camarasaurus is neither giant nor rare compared to many other dinosaurs found across the American West.

    But the specimen discovered June 3 on a private ranch at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains is more than 90 percent complete, and highly articulated — arranged in death as it might have been found in life, Simon said.

    “It’s in what paleontologists call a classic ‘death pose,’ ” Terry Pfister said of the dinosaur’s horseshoe-shaped arrangement, lying flat on its side. “This is a world-class specimen. The articulation is amazing.”

    Pfister is one of Simon’s volunteers — or “paleo-slaves,” as Boscarelli jokingly refers to himself and his fellow diggers — who have worked nearly every day for more than a month, toiling in scorching temperatures on the tedious task.

    The work is slow and exacting, with diggers using screwdrivers, knives and even brushes to flake away dirt to slowly reveal nearly every bone in the ancient giant.

    For Pfister, the reward comes in seeing the reactions of visitors to the dig site as they climb a small hill above the work area to see the fossil revealed in what Simon calls “a National Geographic moment.”

    “It gives me goose bumps to see people come out and get a look at this. Everybody becomes a kid again as soon as they see it,” Pfister said.

    Simon said the volunteers, and an occasional tourist who pays to dig at the site for a few days, are key to his operation.

    “I run a very small company, so I don’t have the means to hire a huge crew to come out and dig up a dinosaur like this,” he said.

    Some volunteers have worked at the site for the past four summers, he said, adding that patience is paramount in becoming a good digger.

    “If you’re not patient, you’re not going to survive as a digger,” he said. “It might seem like hours of hard work and no gain, but the potential to find something is always there. And when you do, it’s a great feeling.”

    The unnamed camarasaurus is not the first nearly complete skeleton found at the rich dinosaur graveyard on John Ed Anderson’s Red Canyon Ranch.

    In the summer of 2004, diggers found a nearly complete stegosaurus, which they named “Sarah,” after Anderson’s teenage daughter.

    The camarasaurus has yet to be named, an honor that Boscarelli said “is kind of a big thing.”

    One idea being considered is a competition for local school kids to come up with the best name for a dinosaur that Simon hopes will wind up in a major U.S. museum.

    Though museums often cannot afford prized fossils, Simon said benefactors sometimes buy and loan them to museums.

    Some researchers at universities and museums complain that private bone hunters drive up fossil prices, or steer important specimens into the hands of wealthy collectors who might not share them.

    Others, including some researchers, defend the work of careful diggers like Simon, saying the specimens on private land might otherwise never be found, or could be damaged or ruined by erosion if not removed.

    Private landowners may keep or sell fossils found on their property, but Simon said the practice is not nearly as lucrative as many believe, with thousands of hours of digging and preparation wrapped up in each find.

    “You have to be passionate about doing it,” he said, adding that much of the excavation work includes careful documentation that aids researchers who might want to study the find.

    “Every bone has been labeled, photographed and measured,” he said. “A grid was set up, so we know exactly how to position every bone to get it back like this, or pose it in a life-stand, like you would see in a museum.”

    Simon said he expects to have the dinosaur out of the ground by the first week of August, but the removal process can be slow, with some sections weighing 1,000 pounds or more.

    After removal, the skeleton will spend months in a lab being cleaned, studied, catalogued and prepared for sale.

    “I’d like to see it stay in the ground. I wish we could put it in a museum just the way it is here. It’s so photogenic,” Boscarelli said.

    A five-foot section of tail is missing, but Simon said he hopes it is still in the ground, beneath the bones of a diplodocus nicknamed “Straight-arrow,” which first must be excavated, perhaps next summer.

    Boscarelli arrived in Shell this summer expecting to dig up Straight-arrow, named for its long, straight section of neck vertebrae.

    “We start one project, and have to move to another one because the doggone dinosaurs keep getting in the way,” Boscarelli said. “But that’s a good problem to have.”


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