Triceratops Dig in Wyoming

Once again I teamed up with Dave to go on a fossil dig. This time it was to Wyoming, to meet up with the UNO Lance Dinosaur Expedition led by Kraig Derstler of The University of New Orleans. The site was located in Northeastern Wyoming.

Photos scanned from original photographs.


Four of us drove up from New Orleans in dave's 1976 Chevy Blazer. It didn't have a bck seat so two of us had to ride in the cargo area. Oh, It rained the night before we left and Dave left the rear window down, so it was wet.

We expierenced a number of breakdowns along the way. But we perservered.

We made several stops at road cuts to either repair the truck or look for fossils.

The views and scenery along he way made the trip enjoyable.



We met the UNO group at the Lance Formation 2 weeks into their dig. The crew had already removed the overburden, which went from that ridge in the upper right of the picture to the area where Kim is standing. They named the Triceratops "Cecilia", from the Simon and Garfunkle song. That became the theme song of the trip. "Oh Cecilia, you're breaking my...back!"

Brian and I found some exposed bones near the Triceratops dig. Since we found them it was our job to do an evaulation of the site.

We dug trenches around the bones to determine the extent of the site. The only tools we used was our pocket knives. I found a few fossil leaves while trenching in the shale.

Since time was running out we abandoned the new bones and concentrated on getting Cecilia excavated and wrapped for transport back to New Orleans. I still don't know what those other bones were.

The land owner had found a few fossil bones over the years, including this Pachycephalosaurus (meaning thick-headed reptile) skull. These dinosaurs are know as the headbangers.

More of the land owner's fossils: In the forground is a Triceratops horn (left) and verterbra (right). Behing those are several T-Rex foot and ankle bones.

T-Rex ankle bone

Triceratops horns

As you can see here, we finally did get all the bones back to UNO. Kim is standing by the horns and frill. Dr. Derstler holds Cecilia's jaw bone.
Photo is from The Times Picayune, by Matt Rose.

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