MCC Road-Scholars 2009 Photos

28 05 2009

Good tidings and well-wishes!

As I’d stated in an earlier post, this last week of mine was spent touing the roadside geology and paleontology of New Mexico and Arizona with the MCC geosciences department. Since the trip was pioneered by Dr. Hungerbuehler, naturally it sported a large Triassic bias, however, we were able to observe much more recent formations and deposits nonetheless.

Our first stop was the ever-popular New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque where we were immediately greeted by the famed cast of ‘Stan’, which always impresses.

Stan the T. rex in all his crouched glory!

Stan the T. rex in all his crouched glory!

It wasn’t long, however, before we hit the exquisite Triassic hall, wherein Dr. H immediately pointed out the museum’s phytosaur cabinet and utilized the display as an opportunity to discuss the cranial differences between Redondasaurus and Pseudopalatus.

A trio of Pseudopalatus.

A trio of Pseudopalatus.

A nice Redondasaurus skull.

A nice Redondasaurus skull.

Dr. Hungerbuehler (foreground) and Donny (background)...This picture was taken in order to redeem my blog for the hideous one we snapped of the good doctor during the last WAVP meeting.

Dr. Hungerbuehler (foreground) and Donny (background)...This picture was taken in order to redeem my blog for the hideous one we snapped of the good doctor during the last WAVP meeting.

 The next day was primarily spent touring the famed Ghost Ranch with Alex Downs.

Welcome to Coelophysis country!

Welcome to Coelophysis country!

The above sign greeted us as we approached the ranch’s museum and is a reference to the area’s famed Coelophysis quarry. Ghost Ranch maintains a lovely museum, some photos of which I’ve included below:

Fun Fact: This phytosaur mount only has three legs. Still, it's rather impressive...

The main display (other than the Coelophysis collection) in the museum.

I believe this one's a Pseudopalatus, but I don't recall if it was for sure.

A large "male" Pseudopalatus skull.

My personal favorite display. This Hesperosuchus mount was created by the same artist as ours, though sadly we don't have a slab of isolated Sphenosuchian bones (visible in the lower right corner) in our Triassic hall...

My personal favorite display. This Hesperosuchus mount was created by the same artist as ours, though sadly we don't have a slab of isolated Sphenosuchian bones (visible in the lower right corner) in our Triassic hall...

 

You've gotta love that buttermilk Effigia!

You've gotta love that buttermilk Effigia!

A lovely collection of sphenosuchian (probably Hesperosuchus) scutes.

A lovely collection of sphenosuchian (probably Hesperosuchus) scutes.

A "female" Pseudopalatus skull.

A "female" Pseudopalatus skull.

Of course, the museum’s most captivating exhibit was a massive block containing dozens of assorted Coelophysis remains…so naturally, I neglected to snap a shot of it!  We later visited Snyder Quarry and began prospecting, which resulted in a few isolated finds.

The next day marked my long-awaited return to Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. Here we were treated to an exquisite tour of the park’s museum, lab, and dig sites courtesy of Paleo Errata’s Jeff Martz. Since we essentially re-explored everything we’d seen during the WAVP meeting, I used my camera sparingly.

Yours truly excavating a chunk of petrified wood during one of our hikes.

Yours truly excavating a chunk of petrified wood during one of our hikes.

A nice phytosaur tooth we found during the outing.

A nice phytosaur tooth we found during the outing.

Of course, being the gang’s astronomy buff, Donny was ecstatic to learn that we’d be visiting the Meteor Crater Site near Flagstaff. Though it wasn’t at all related to paleo, it was quite interesting nonetheless.

This shot was taken from the visitor's center.

This shot was taken from the visitor's center.

Here I am being a goofball, as usual.
Here I am being a goofball, as usual.

A great time was had by everyone, and we’re allready planning out next year’s trip.

May the fossil record continue to enchant us all!

 

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3 responses

28 05 2009
Zach Miller

Looks fun. I really want to go to the Hairy Museum of Natural History (as it were). Phytosaurs are awesome, and they’re a particularly glaring blind spot in my amniote knowledge.

28 05 2009
Alex Downs

Hey Mark,

That was the Hayden Quarry on the Ghost Ranch property we visited after the Coelophysis Quarry. Don’t want to step on anyone elses toes now do we!

Alex Downs

29 05 2009
tanystropheus

Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Downs. I apologise if I’ve caused any offense and have edited the post accordingly.

-Mark

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