Edmontosaurus regalis and the Danek Bonebed featured in special issue of CJES

December 15, 2014, Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)
Edmontosaurus regalis and the Danek Bonebed featured in special issue of CJES
Edmontosaurus regalis roamed around what is now Edmonton about 71 million years ago. Credit: Michael W. Skrepnick

An exciting new special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences shines the spotlight on the Danek Bonebed in Edmonton, Alberta and increases our knowledge of Edmonton's urban dinosaurs, especially the iconic hadrosaurid Edmontosaurus.

Well-preserved, articulated dinosaur specimens often receive much attention from scientists and the public, but bonebeds provide a great deal of information that even the most spectacular articulated specimens cannot. Because of the amount of fossil material, the quality of preservation, ease of preparation, and volume of associated data, the site allows for a diversity of research projects tied together by a common theme.

Guest editors of this thematic issue featuring the Danek Bonebed include Victoria Arbour (University of Alberta), Michael Ryan (Cleveland Museum of Natural History) and Andrew Farke (Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology) with support from Michael Burns, Eva Koppelhus and Phil Currie (from University of Alberta).

As the Special issue's introduction explains:

"The bonebed was discovered by Danek Mozdzenski, an amateur fossil collector from Edmonton, on March 31, 1989 (Bell and Campione, 2014) and was initially excavated by the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in 1989 and 1991, during which time approximately 80 specimens were collected, including a partial articulated skeleton. The bonebed was reopened by the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Palaeontology in 2006, and has since produced over 800 catalogued specimens."

This issue's 11 articles collect and share a wealth of information from the Danek Bonebed (Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology locality # L2379), which has proven to be an invaluable source of specimens for palaeontological research projects, and is important as a teaching and outreach tool.

In fact, a University of Alberta field course in vertebrate palaeontology centres on the Danek Bonebed, giving students a taste of field techniques, data collection, specimen curation and preservation, and allows them to work on original research projects. Many of the contributions in this special issue are derived from these small independent .

At the Bonebed, participants excavate, prepare and research specimens and data that become part of the collections of the University of Alberta Laboratory of Vertebrate Paleontology. In addition, the condition of the material found there also lends itself well to relatively easy preparation by volunteers in a "Dino Lab" Volunteer Preparation Program. Volunteers range from university students to interested members of the public, and the program represents a significant form of public engagement and citizen science at the university.

Palaeontologists, graduate students, undergraduate students and volunteers have all played a role in the excavation, preparation, curation, research and display of dinosaur bones from the Danek Bonebed, and the editors are "grateful for their efforts in making this special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences possible."

Explore further: Research is challenging basic assumptions about dinosaurs—and greatly expanding the number of known species

More information: "The Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed: new insights on the systematics, biogeography, and palaeoecology of Late Cretaceous dinosaur communities" <www.nrcresearchpress.com/toc/cjes/51/11> special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences was published today.

Related Stories

Secrets of dinosaur ecology found in fragile amber

October 20, 2014

Ryan McKellar's research sounds like it was plucked from Jurassic Park: he studies pieces of amber found buried with dinosaur skeletons. But rather than re-creating dinosaurs, McKellar uses the tiny pieces of fossilized tree ...

New horned dinosaur reveals unique wing-shaped headgear

June 18, 2014

Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) based on fossils collected from Montana in the United States and Alberta, Canada. Mercuriceratops (mer-cure-E-sare-ah-tops) gemini was approximately 6 meters ...

Meet Xenoceratops: Canada's newest horned dinosaur

November 8, 2012

Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) from Alberta, Canada. Xenoceratops foremostensis (Zee-NO-Sare-ah-tops) was identified from fossils originally collected in 1958. Approximately 20 feet long ...

Near-complete dinosaur baby a rare find

December 2, 2013

Philip Currie has made some spectacular and rare fossil finds while dino hunting in Alberta's badlands, so when he says a discovery ranks among the best of his career, it's significant.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.