Video tour of new bones found in the megablock


We want to share with you an exclusive look behind the scenes at Thanksgiving Point, Museum of Ancient Life’s paleontology preparation lab, home of the Utahraptor Megablock.  Please check out the video below and take a look at some of the cool bones that are just now coming to light in this amazing chunk of rock.

Soon we will be able to add views of what we are actually seeing under the microscope as the work progresses. All this is thanks to you folks who have so kindly donated to the Utahraptor Project’s GoFundMe site- Thank You!

Also many thanks to our good friend and project supporter, Dale Gray, member of the Utah Friends of Paleontology (UFOP)- more on UFOP soon!

Thank you,

Scott Madsen


7 thoughts on “Video tour of new bones found in the megablock

  1. Thanks Scott for the interesting update and tour of part of the block! One suggestion for your videographer, Dale: the rock music in the background made it difficult to hear you describe the bones. Perhaps he can lower the volume in that in a future video. Best, Liam


  2. I have a suggestion as well for the videography here! I am a photographer and videographer myself and I am really excited to see this work but I’d like to ask if the videographer could use a better light set-up next time. It would make it a bit easier to see the fossils and sections so that the camera is not adjusting to the light Everytime he moves the camera.
    Good job, keep up your great work!


    1. Ashlyn, thanks for the observation and suggestion. Lighting has been an issue for us that we’re still trying to fix. Basically, we are in an enormous space with a couple of different in-house lighting systems, some “task lighting” and fiber optic plus LED light pipes and ringlights. What we are finding is that we’re going to need lighting for a few functions like close-up documentation, wider views, accommodating the cameras required for photogrammetry, and more. I know what I’ve been using so far is making do and rather primitive, so it must look like crap to a pros eyes. But we are working on it. Sorting out this whole equipment issue has been rather complicated, much of it due to the size of the block. Stay tuned, please.


  3. So what are the theories behind the animals most unusual jaw morphology? The downward curving lower jaw with forward pointing teeth is bazaar especially for a dromaeosaurid. The hitch on the upper jaw is also unique, I think one could guess these are fish feeding adaptations, yet the robustness of the skull would make that rather inefficient. Lower jaw is noticably shorter, I wonder if this animal could of had a strong bite force with all that considered.

    Another thing, I expect to see a great deal of diversity in a group as large as dromaesauridae, but the more we find, the less it looks like a true drommie to me. Just what are the dromaeosaurid characteristics present with this new skeletal other than the arrangement of the pedal unguals? If not for that, it looks like something totally different, primitive tyrannosauridesque if you ask me.


    1. Robert, that’s a lot of interesting observations and comments. My best suggestion is to reach out to Jim Kirkland who is the principle researcher on the project as he is much better equipped to deal with these questions. I’ll pass on your comments to him. Thanks!


  4. I will say in the Scott Hartman skeletal that the forelimbs, although shorter, resemble other drommies. There are pictures of an updated replica with a velociraptor to scale where they do not. Can you at least tell me how much of the forelimbs have been recovered?


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