Various Teeth from the Microsites
Ceratopsian spitter teeth are the most common teeth in my microsites. Visitors are assured a tooth or two if they spend very much time in the sand here. Some of the teeth in the middle show both roots still attached to the enamel portion of the tooth. These are quite uncommon and are considered rare. (eruptors) I have hundreds more of the more common “spitters” in the collection with many different sized individuals of several vegetarian genus represented. There is no scale but the average tooth is about an inch long.
Mammal Molar in matrix. This is the first molar that we have found in the matrix. Usually they fall out before we see them. The character of the rocks in this particular dig site is the reason. This particular site is much better indurated that my other microsites.
Here is a nice little mammal molar sans matrix from my site 3 (I have more than a dozen dig sites at this juncture in several adjacent gully system. Overall the area of interests is the size of several football fields. I suspect that I have barely scratched the surface. As alwary the grid square is one inch on a side.
This is a T-rex tooth that was one of the first fossils to come out during the spring of 2005. I literally walked up to an outcrop, took three wacks with my pick at a likely spot to see what was there. And tink, I shattered this into a hundred pieces. After a few hour of screening the sand for any pieces and an evening with paleobond and a little paleo putty (epoxy), this reassembled etched tooth was the result. Interestingly, not much else came out of that particular sand lense “microsite”.
The result of a hundred man hours of work is required to work a ball of bones (packed solid) out of the outcrop. This pile of vertebra from our tric site has at least three vertebra inside and on top. The rest of the animal is diving into the outcrop to the upper left. We had to remove the ribs from the previous picture in order to be able to reduce the blocks size to a managable weight. As it is, it took 6 men to get it up the hill (after it was covered by plaster of course). It weighed in at 350 pounds.
These are triceratops ribs from one of our sites. This partially articulated animal will keep up busy for many years to come.
Chirostenotes juvinile foot claw from site 2. Scale is in inches. (everyone likes the claws, me included!)
Pachycephalosaur tooth perhaps a Stegoceras tooth (scale in mm). These seem to be uncommonn to find. This particular specimen has part of the root on it. We have found literally thousand of fossils at this site. Most of the teeth though belong to Triceratops (pictured below and right).
Very rare 3 molar and 2 premolar therian mammal jaw. Cretaceous mammals are very very uncommon. The small size of this specimen would indicate a mouse sized individual. The total length is 14 millimeters. We have found several of these at site 2 with others at other sites. Several individual molars while have been found while sieving sand. Remember that mammals were just starting to evolve and were generally hiding from the larger dinosaurs that were trying to eat them. We have lots of work here for an ambitious graduate student as there are truck loads of sand to sieve. This and another were taken in about one hour of sieving at my site 2.
Here are some bones from a crocodile and a Champsosaurus (crocodile like). These are hollow in the interior. There are perhaps two dozen partial bones similar to the above that are not quite perfect in the collection as of this writing. Some have evidence of predation on them. Scale is in both inches and centimeters.
Triceratops tooth with both roots attached. I actually have better than this and literally hundreds of shed (spitter) teeth. The shed triceratops teeth are the most common tooth at my sites. Scale is in both inches and centimeters. Birooted complete teeth like this are quite rare.
Here is a nice selection of carnivore teeth. The grid squares are an inch on side. Nanotyrannus, several different Dromaosaurs, Crocodile and others are pictured.
Here is a scaled composite photo (photoshop) which shows all the Cretaceous mammal teeth collected this summer from ant hills on my ranch. Harvester ants that build on Hell Creek Microsites collect any small thing they can carry to build their mounds. Several of my microsites are quite literally world class in their productivity. This collection is already in repository and is no longer at my ranch though new pieces are coming off all the time.