Campus: CSU Stanislaus -- January 26, 2005
Geology Faculty Member Leads Dinosaur Research Team
Dr. Julia Sankey, Assistant Professor of Geology in the Department of Physics
and Geology at California State University, Stanislaus, led a class of geology
students to Big Bend National Park, Texas, this month for a "hands on" dinosaur
research field trip.
The students helped with Sankey's research on 75-million-year- old dinosaurs.
They discovered many of what Sankey described as "fantastic fossils," including
teeth from an older relative of T. rex and smaller dinosaurs.
One of the most important discoveries at the dig featured numerous dinosaur
eggshell fragments and baby or embryonic dinosaur teeth, documenting that dinosaurs
nested in the area. No nests with complete eggs have been found yet, but Sankey
is hopeful that future trips with CSU Stanislaus students may uncover them from
the rocks in the west Texas desert.
Students also collected many fragments of what appears to be burned wood and
studied the sediments surrounding the bones and wood to determine how the animals
and plants died and were buried. Further research is planned for spring semester
starting in February to test some ideas brought up during the trip to Texas.
"At the moment our hypothesis can be summed up in the following title: 'Fires,
Floods, Eggs, and Babies in the Late Cretaceous of Big Bend, Texas,' which is our
tentative abstract title for the fall meeting of the Society of Vertebrate
Paleontology," Sankey said.
Media Contact: Don Hansen, (209) 667-3997