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> Arctic Dinosaur Ecosystem: North Slope, Alaska

Dave Driving Boat down...


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Description: Dave Norton navigates down the Colville River from Umiat to Camp One. The motors on the boats have been problematic, but Dave always manages to get them working.

Colville River Bluff


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Description: This is a view of the bluffs along the West side of the Colville River. This particular location is near the dinosaur quarry. The rock layers in the photo are Cretaceous and Tertiary in age.

Caribou on Gravel Bar


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Description: We have seen tons of Caribou along the river. They seem very curious and are not shy about approaching us.

Wolf Prints


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Description: Caribou and wolf prints were everywhere as we boated down the Colville River toward Camp One.

Coyote Skull on Pete...


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Description: Today I joined Pete as he ran around town picking up last minute items. I noticed a rather strange antenna decoration. Pete explained the skull was on the antenna of another truck he was in during a field trip up north. He decided to transfer the skull to his own truck as a momento.

Route from Fairbanks t...


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Description: The red line on this maps represents the route taken by our charter flight from Fairbanks to Umiat. Umiat is the starting point for the expedition. The remaining portion of the journey will involve boating down the Colville River to the fossil beds.



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Description: The Pachyrhinosaur (thick-nosed lizard) grew up to 18 feet long and 7 feet high. This 4 ton herbivore had many unusual protrusions on its head.



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Description: The Hadrosaur (Big Lizard) is a common herbivore with rows of teeth in their cheek area. These dinosaurs reached sizes of 40 feet and weighed up to 5 tons. They are commonly referred to as 'duck-billed dinosaurs' because their toothless beak is similar to a ducks.



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Description: The Albertosaurus (Alberta reptile) is named after the region in which the dinosaur was first discovered, i.e. - Alberta, Canada. The Albertosaurus is similar to the larger Tyrannosaurus Rex, but probably much faster.

Unloading Gear at Wrig...


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Description: Research team members unload gear at Wright Air Service for transport to Umiat, Alaska. The gear, including one thousand pounds of plaster, will be flown to Umiat by four cargo planes.

Unloading Boat Motor f...


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Description: Three boat motors are unloaded from a flat bed truck by members of the research team. The motors and other equipment will be loaded onto a cargo plane the following morning for a flight to Umiat, Alaska.

Thomas Working on Sola...


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Description: Thomas Adams works on a solar panal that will allow satellite phones and other equipment to be recharged in the field.

Air Route to Alaska


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Description: The red line on this map of North America represents the path I took from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Field Assistant Testin...


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Description: It is always a good idea to test all equipment before leaving for field work. This is the tent I will live in for a month while working on the North Slope of Alaska. The field assistant checking the quality of my work is my son Wyatt.

Reindeer at the North ...


Uploaded by: Jason_Petula

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Description: This is a young male reindeer located at North Pole, Alaska. This is a unique example of Alaska's fauna because once a year it is capable of flight. Evolutionary biologist attribute this unique evolutionary adaptation to a build up of methane gas in the animals stomach. When the gas reaches a critical limit, the animal's density becomes less than air. This phenomena occurs near the winter solstice and lasts for roughly 24 hours. After that time, the reindeer naturally releases the gas and gently returns to Earth. This unique attribute of the reindeer has inspired many interesting tales from cultures around the world.

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