May 14th, 2021

#FossilFriday a fragmented parietal (back part of the skull or frill) belonging to a baby ceratopsid, 𝑃𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑦𝑟ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑜𝑠𝑎𝑢𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑘𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑖, cradled in a sturdy support jacket after being cleaned, alongside a 10 cm scale bar showing its tiny nature. This specimen is over 73 million years old and was collected from the local Pipestone Creek Bonebed.

The Pipestone Creek Bonebed located just outside of the small northern Alberta town of Wembley represents the mass death of a herd. This herd of horned dinosaurs, eventually identified as 𝑃𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑦𝑟ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑜𝑠𝑎𝑢𝑟𝑢𝑠 𝑙𝑎𝑘𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑖, has so far never been found anywhere else on earth.

The site is classified as a multitaxic monodominant bonebed where more than one type of animal is buried, yet the majority of remains belong to a single species. It preserves close to a full growth series worth of 𝑃𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑦𝑟ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑜𝑠𝑎𝑢𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑘𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑖, yet also hosts several other taxa, including some meat-eating dinosaurs. The site is one of the largest and densest bonebeds in the world, preserving over 200 bones per square meter!

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