Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fossil finder has bones to pick

Alan Detrich holds a horn of a triceratops, left, and tooth of a tyrannosaurus rex. Detrich recently found more than half of a triceratops in Montana and will clean and assemble the bones. He also wants the state of Kansas to choose an official fossil.

Alan Detrich holds a horn of a triceratops, left, and tooth of a tyrannosaurus rex. Detrich recently found more than half of a triceratops in Montana and will clean and assemble the bones. He also wants the state of Kansas to choose an official fossil.

July 28, 2010

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Fossil hunter makes rare dino find

A fossil hunter has returned to Lawrence after hunting for old bones in Montana. He found a half triceratops skeleton, something he believes to be his biggest find ever. Enlarge video

As Alan Detrich drove into Lawrence on Tuesday, he simply looked like a guy hauling a trailer full of rocks.

But Detrich, a fossil hunter returning from a two-month dinosaur-hunting expedition in Montana, said the “rocks” were plaster-casted triceratops bones that could be worth millions.

Detrich said the find could be a first in the paleontology world, as he says he collected more than half the bones of a full triceratops.

“No one has ever found a 50 percent triceratops. They’re rare,” he said.

The creatures, which date back more than 65 million years, are estimated to have grown to more than 25 feet in height and typically weighed more than 20,000 pounds.

Detrich also made some other significant discoveries on his trip, including finding a tyrannosaurus rex tooth and femur.

Up next is the lengthy process of cleaning the bones — something that could take more than a year. He’ll then work on a display of the bones and probably sell them to a museum, where the missing bones will be added from other triceratops.

In addition to fueling a life passion and earning money, Detrich said he hopes such discoveries help a cause he’s been working on for a decade: getting Kansas to declare a state fossil.

“Forty states have a state fossil; Kansas doesn’t. Go figure,” said Detrich, who created a fossil sculpture that’s stationed on the corner of Sixth and Massachusetts streets. “It’s a lot more interesting than a state flower or state weed.”

Comments

Stuart Evans 4 years, 9 months ago

that's because fundi-nuts don't believe fossils are from actual living things and were just put there by god to test them..us..whatever.

Danielle Brunin 4 years, 9 months ago

Hey, I'm a fossil hunter and I love finding them, but he doesn't need to trash having a state flower or designations for things he's not interested in. What an attitude!

bad_dog 4 years, 9 months ago

I nominate Alan Detrich as state fossil ;-)

Joe Hyde 4 years, 9 months ago

If we ever adopt an official state fossil, a choice will need to be made as to which geological epoch to choose from. Many very impressive mammals that evolved in North America then became extinct within the last million years once lived in what is now Kansas, and about any of those mammals would do nicely.

But since most people link the word "fossil" with "dinosaur", the choice would likely come down to a representative species from that group. So if it's dinosaurs and if no other state has already beaten us to it, I cast my vote for the ichthyosaurus. Excellent specimens of this awesome predator were preserved in the chalk beds of Kansas, and one of them is displayed at KU's Dyche Natural History museum.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 9 months ago

I think refudiate got disappearded. Don't know why. She was just a gal with a little double entendre. I thought she had a great set of assets to bring to any issue.

But reading about Tongie, maybe the LJW has something against small town mayors.

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