This is also the hardest part of the fieldwork, as we have to turn our backs on many bones, leaving them in the ground to fend for themselves. The fate of many bones is unsure even given the level of their protection is high in the USA, but their remote position makes them vulnerable, given such large areas are impossible to police.
It is only through working with local ranchers and the BLM office that we might offer some network of protection for such sensitive sites. Areas hidden from prying eyes by the very buttes we so covet when hunting dinosaurs. Each member of the team has played their part in making this short field season a successful, but albeit too brief one. Hopefully next year a bigger team can help take the excavation to the next level, as the site we have chosen to return to is both large and remote, but thankfully with little overburden.
As you have probably guessed I have been quite coy with names and places this past two weeks…this is for very good reason. We hope to return next year to a little square of Earth that holds so much promise, but hopefully remains untouched and intact. Only a few have been lucky enough to see the wonder of this site, but it is our hope that in the future we can save this site for the many.
Working so closely with a team for two weeks helps you learn much about your fellow palaeo’s. What makes them tick and what ticks them off. This is certainly the same in all walks of life, but we must always take time to realize that hunting dinosaurs is one of those jobs many just dream of, but we very lucky few get to do. If I take anything from this field season, it is that more folks should experience the rush of touching the fossil remains of long dead animals. This thrill does not change with repetition, as each new find helps piece together the complex mosaic of past life on our planet.