Jurassic dinosaur research, Mongolia
Michael Pittman, a palaeontologist at University College
London, is heading to south-western Mongolia to search for traces
of Late Jurassic dinosaurs. He is seeking to investigate the Shar
Teg and Dariv fossil beds, remote sites located in the Gobi Desert
and flanked by the Altai Mountains. Dariv, discovered in 1968 by
Soviet sendimentologists, has yielded fossils of both sauropods
and carnivorous dinosaurs; Shar Teg, discovered in 1984, has
produced fossils of plants, insects, turtles, basal mammals,
crocodiles and dinosaurs.
The project will help elucidate the origins of dinosaurian
groups (which are currently poorly known) and reconstruct a unique
Jurassic ecosystem which will be useful for comparisons with other
ecosystems in Central Asia. The work may also lead to new
hypotheses regarding the early evolution of early dinosaur groups.
The JWCT has contributed £1,000 to the expedition via the
Geological Society of London, a partner organisation. The
Geological Society of London is the UK national society for
geoscience, and the oldest geological society in the world.
Michael, based in Maida Vale, London, said “thank you . . .
to the JWCT for sponsoring my dinosaur field expedition to
Mongolia . . . My team believe we can find many new species of
Jurassic dinosaur and your sponsorship will ensure that we can
spend an even longer time there searching and excavating.”
Michael added “I can't wait until the expedition starts,
and I really look forward to updating the [JWCT] with our