CEB Committe on Evolutionary Biology

From the Field Museum: A Recap of Peter Makovicky’s recent fieldwork in Argentina

Field Museum Associate Curator and CEB faculty member, Peter Makovicky, recently returned from his fourth field season digging in Patagonia. The trip was recently featured in the Field Museum's Science & Education News for March 13, 2014.  The recap is below. Jonathan Mitchell and Nate Smith (CEB graduate student and alumnus, respectively) were part of the field crew. 

Abundantes descubrimientos de dinosaurios en Argentina. Associate Curator Peter Makovicky, Chief Preparator Akiko Shinya, Resident Graduate Student Jonathan Mitchell, and Research Associate Nate Smith returned last week from fieldwork in Argentina, where they joined Argentinean colleagues from Universidad Maímonides and the Museo Ernesto Bachman on an excavation. This was the fourth field season digging at the rich site in 100 million-year-old rocks in northern Patagonia. The international team exposed and extracted bones of a rebacchisaurid sauropod and a T. rex-sized predator from a quarry that has grown to more than 70 feet wide and 15 feet deep from when excavations began. The predator, a new species of carcharodontosaur, is quite complete and this year the team uncovered bones of the face and palate as well as both legs, a very complete pelvis, and sections of the tail. A surprising complication was that a five-foot-long femur of the sauropod was discovered lying on top of the main concentration of carnivore bones. Because the bones are too large to travel, Peter spent down time capturing data on the skull and forelimb with a portable 3D scanner. The top photo shows team members uncovering, consolidating and plastering limb and pelvic bones of a large carnivorous dinosaur; the bottom photo depicts Peter next to the sauropod femur, which was discovered as overburden was being removed to expose bones of the carnivore. Due to size, this femur had to be extracted in two sections.