By Horner J.R., Gorman J.
A reissue of the now-classic ebook that revolutionized the way in which we expect approximately dinosaurs. "Popular-science writing at its best."--Los Angeles Times
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Additional resources for Digging Dinosaurs. The Search That Unraveled the Mystery of Baby Dinosaurs
Only much later did I realize how likely a spot for babies the Two Medicine formation was. During the winter of 1979, after the trip to Marion Brandvold's rock shop and our follow-up of that trip, I checked all the fossils from the Two Medicine formation in the collections of Princeton University, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution. Then I found out what I hadn't realized before—and what I think nobody else had realized, either. Eighty percent of those fossils were of juvenile dinosaurs, many of them unrecognized for what they were.
We went back to the Brandvolds to see if we could get permission from the landowners to dig on the land. We were being very cautious. All we planned to do—at first, anyway—was to take out shovels and picks and rock hammers and ice picks to dig down into the mudstone and separate out the bones. Paleontology, however, is not only a matter of digging; it's also a matter of diplomacy and politics involving dealings with amateur collectors and landowners. And in the West, there's no politics like the politics of land.
The Rockies were then very young and in the process of growing, which means there were frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as the planet shuddered and cracked and thrust the mountains up. What we can say is that they were somewhere between where they are now and 50 miles west of that line. Certainly the Colorado Sea went deep into where the mountains are now. Then, as it receded, the sea left deposits of muddy shale and of beach sand that turned into sandstone. This beach sand deposit, called the Virgelle Sandstone, marks the bottom boundary of the Two Medicine formation.