Press Releases

December 15, 2014
Ottawa, ON

Edmontosaurus regalis and the Danek Bonebed featured in new special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences

Special issue title: The Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed: new insights on the systematics, biogeography, and palaeoecology of Late Cretaceous dinosaur communities

Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences Volume 51, Number 11
An exciting new special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences shines the spotlight on the Danek Bonebed in Edmonton, Alberta and increases our knowledge of Edmonton's urban dinosaurs, especially the iconic hadrosaurid Edmontosaurus.

CJES Special Issue Cover: Credit/Caption: Michael W. Skrepnick. Caption: A large, mature hadrosaurid Edmontosaurus regalis sporting an unusual head crest, surveys an open clearing within a late Cretaceous taxodiaceous conifer forest.

(CJES Special Issue Cover. Artwork Credit: Michael W. Skrepnick. Caption: A large, mature hadrosaurid Edmontosaurus regalis sporting an unusual head crest, surveys an open clearing within a late Cretaceous taxodiaceous conifer forest.) 

Well-preserved, articulated dinosaur specimens often receive much attention from scientists and the public, but bonebeds provide a great deal of information that even the most spectacular articulated specimens cannot. Because of the amount of fossil material, the quality of preservation, ease of preparation, and volume of associated data, the site allows for a diversity of research projects tied together by a common theme.
 
Guest editors of this thematic issue featuring the Danek Bonebed include Victoria Arbour (University of Alberta), Michael Ryan (Cleveland Museum of Natural History) and Andrew Farke (Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology) with support from Michael Burns, Eva Koppelhus and Phil Currie (from University of Alberta).

As the Special issue's introduction explains:
The bonebed was discovered by Danek Mozdzenski, an amateur fossil collector from Edmonton, on March 31, 1989 (Bell and Campione, 2014) and was initially excavated by the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in 1989 and 1991, during which time approximately 80 specimens were collected, including a partial articulated skeleton. The bonebed was reopened by the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Palaeontology in 2006, and has since produced over 800 catalogued specimens.”

This issue’s 11 articles collect and share a wealth of information from the Danek Bonebed (Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology locality # L2379), which has proven to be an invaluable source of specimens for palaeontological research projects, and is important as a teaching and outreach tool.

In fact, a University of Alberta field course in vertebrate palaeontology centres on the Danek Bonebed, giving students a taste of field techniques, data collection, specimen curation and preservation, and allows them to work on original research projects. Many of the contributions in this special issue are derived from these small independent research projects.

In addition, the condition of the material recovered at the Danek Bonebed  lends itself well to relatively easy preparation by volunteers in a “Dino Lab” Volunteer Preparation Program. Volunteers range from university students to interested members of the public, and the program represents a significant form of public engagement and citizen science at the university. Palaeontologists, graduate students, undergraduate students and volunteers have all played a role in the excavation, preparation, curation, research and display of dinosaur bones from the Danek Bonebed, and the editors are “grateful for their efforts in making this special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences possible.”

For further information, read the Special Issue Introduction, and find links to the articles that comprise this issue below : 

Geology and Mapping:

Taphonomy (Fossilization):
Palaeoenvironmental information:
Ontogeny (Growth):
Faunal assemblage and palaeobiogeographic information:

"The Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed: new insights on the systematics, biogeography, and palaeoecology of Late Cretaceous dinosaur communities"  special issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences was published today.

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Media Contacts: 

Michael Burns, 780-492-1252, 780-616-8350; mburns@ualberta.ca

Jenny Ryan, Communications, Canadian Science Publishing, 613-656-9846 ext. 236,  media@cdnsciencepub.com 


About the journal: The Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences has been reporting new research in all areas of earth science since 1963. Published by Canadian Science Publishing, CJES is part of the prestigious NRC Research Press collection of journals. 

Disclaimer: Canadian Science Publishing, an independent not-for-profit company, publishes the NRC Research Press journals but is not affiliated with the National Research Council of Canada. Papers published by Canadian Science Publishing are peer-reviewed by experts in their field. The views of the authors in no way reflect the opinions of Canadian Science Publishing or the National Research Council of Canada. Requests for commentary about the contents of any study should be directed to the authors.