Volunteers!! Finding dedicated volunteers is a staple for museums of any size. Over the years Burpee Museum has been blessed with many good volunteers. Burpee volunteers fill many roles from assisting with tours, helping in the collections, doing yard work, preparing fossils, moving cabinets or even working in the field. Id like to mention one of volunteers. Mel Jackovich from Dixon, Il has become one of our most relied on volunteers aside from assisting in the collections and preparing fossils, Mel is a bone-digging machine. This year Mel spent 10 days working at the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry. In addition to excavating several bones from an Apatosaurus/Camarasaurus bone “jumble” Mel found several new bones including a partially articulated sauropod tail. Mel even went the extra mile and transported about 400 lbs of dinosaur bones back to Burpee. Without dedicated volunteers like Mel, Burpee could not provide the excellent services it currently does. Thanks to Mel and all the other volunteers, Burpee can continue to do things no other museum its size does!!
More bones and bones. The 2nd week of volunteers continues as well as every week were are out here. Bones are found, bones are mapped and bones are excavated. About mid-week, Burpee Expedition Veteran Joe Mongan found a beautiful tibia (lower leg bone). It was in pristine condition.
We are fairly certain it belongs to a sub-adult Barosaurus we have been collecting on part of the quarry we call Limb Bone Ridge. Joe did an expert job in excavating and plastering this bone. Interestingly, it appears that the cartilage that would have been on the top (proximal) part of the tibia had ossified while the animal was alive, meaning that this bone was done growing. Based on the proportions of this tibia and femur found nearby, I would estimate this Barosaurus might have been 60 feet long when it died. Considering we have front and hing limbs, hips, neck, back and tail vertebra….I am confident that we have a mountable sauropod!