Inside a Dinosaur Dig in Southern Arizona

Dinosaurs have always peaked the interest and children and adults, and here in Arizona, paleontologists are finding fossils all over the state. 


We went fossil hunting with two experts in southern Arizona, and found that fossilized finds are extremely rare in Arizona. 

It's not easy, but paleontologist doctor Robert McCord and his team from the Arizona Museum of Natural History know what to look for. 

The fossils here were first discovered by a hunter. After searching the area and finding very little, scientists found something -- what might be a limb bone. 

That piece was found amongst a number of small fossils. They call it bone scatter. 

"In the last 85 million years it was probably all cracked and held together because it was in the earth and so when the earth around eroded away it just fell apart," says Dr. McCord. 

And what remains today are dozens of pieces that they'll try to piece back together their lab in Mesa. 

"Sometimes it will just fit perfectly and you can barely see the seam. Most of the time though that is not the case," says Gavin McCullough. 

We have a picture of some bone scatter found at the same site. After cleaning it and piecing it all together, it looks like the real thing. 

"It happens so infrequently that is exciting when you get a match. It is not a big deal in the great scheme of things but it is an accomplishment," says McCullough. 


It's hard to say what kind of dinosaur this was, but the paleontologists have found evidence of the duck-billed hadrosaurs at this site in southern Arizona. 

Unfortunately we can't tell you exactly where it is. 

"There are people who are collectors who do enjoy picking this stuff and taking it home.... putting it on their mantle place, or whatever they do with it," says Dr. McCord. 

When pieces disappear, the paleontologists loose potentially valuable scientific information. 

At that same site in southern Arizona, the paleontologists also found fossilized pieces of a dinosaur egg.  

Source: My Fox Phoenix Com [September 26, 2011]

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