UCMP’s summer adventures 2004

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Each summer, the Museum of Paleontology seems a rather empty place as faculty, staff, and students disperse around the world for meetings, research, and sometimes just for fun. Andrew (Drew) Lee seems to have packed a lot of unusual experiences into his summer as he traveled to Canada, Oklahoma, and South Carolina to work on his research on extinct and living archosaurs.
“The bone beds of the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation in Drumheller, Alberta represent a death assemblage of horned dinosaurs, particularly of Centrosaurus. I visited the collections of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and Dinosaur Provincial Park to collect a growth series of limb bones from Centrosaurus for microstructural study. While I was there, I had the opportunity to walk the badlands and experience the richness of the formations bearing vertebrate fossils. My host, David Eberth, also gave me a chance to tend ‘The Good Earth.’ Now, I have an appreciation for farming, but an even greater appreciation for the urban life.
  “A trip to Norman, Oklahoma gave me the opportunity to study the bones of a juvenile long-necked dinosaur, Apatosaurus. Matt Wedel traveled with me, and it was a good thing that he did because I got a chance to see Oklahoma from the perspective of a Sooner. I will cherish memories of shooting a rifle, a hike to find the elusive mammoth, a fantastic barbecue, and broken bottles.
“I ended my summer with a trip to Clemson University, SC to work on alligator locomotion. It was incredible to be able to work with living alligators, particularly because they are reminiscent of their dinosaurian cousins. My collaborator, Rick Blob, and I wanted to learn how alligators move their forelimbs and what strains their forelimb bones experience during locomotion. We surgically implanted small strain-measuring devices onto the arm bones of four juvenile alligators and successfully collected bone strain and forelimb movement data (see the photo on the front page). Despite undergoing surgery and having wires protruding from their arms, the young alligators were endearing and even chirped at us when they were tired of walking. They were the highlight of my extremely fun summer.”

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