The Two Medicine Dinosaur Center has recently received the assets of the former Fort Peck Paleontology, Incorporated Field Station in Fort Peck, Montana. Originally it was planned that we would continue working as a second location through that facility. However, the building is no longer available, so TMDC has had to move all the assets to Bynum and return the building to its owner, the Army Corps of Engineers. They plan to park vehicles for themselves and for the Geological Survey in the building starting in June, 2014.
Meanwhile, we have acquired quite a number of preparation, molding, and casting tools, supplies, and equipment that we had previously wished for, but could never afford. We also acquired the ability to produce castings of an ornithomimid full skeleton and the Stygimoloch skull Dave created for them several years ago. We also may produce actual T-rex bits - teeth and claws - for sale in the gift shop. Perhaps the single most important acquisition for us, though, was the 39 collections cabinets from the University of Montana that were placed over at Fort Peck for the Field Station's use. These cabinets will hold all our existing collections and provide additional storage for years to come.
We opened a site near Augusta, Montana, last year, and that locality has proven quite interesting. We will be working at that site again this year. The bones are a gorgeous blue-black in color, and the deposit appears to be another multi-individual bonebed. We hope to learn more about the regression of the Cretaceous Interior Seaway and its effect on local flora and fauna from this site.
Last year, in conjunction with the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum, TMDC staff also worked on a site south of Malta, Montana, digging on what appeared to be Tyrannosaur material. While the pieces seen originally could still be tyrannosaur, we also uncovered remains that are definitely Ceratopsian. We plan to conduct more extensive excavation of that site this summer as well. Come help us dig it!
During the 2011 and 2012 dig seasons, an armored dinosaur was excavated and brought into the facility. It is very exciting to have one of these rare animals in the Center! Its preparation is ongoing, and we have already seen enough to know that the specimen will provide significant insights into this animal group.
We are also working on preparation of several specimens from Malta and Fort Peck, including a new marine reptile skull, a stegosaur, and a triceratops. These projects are in addition to the work on our locally collected materials that is ongoing. We are getting close to publication on several projects, and this coming year should be exciting!