Friday, October 15, 2010

Albertosaurus Bonebed Special Volume

And so it is back to ?serious business on the blog. Today I wanted to bring some attention to a major project in the Currie Lab for the last few years, a special volume of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences all about Albertosaurus. The whole glorious volume can be downloaded for free here if you’re coming from a Canadian IP address. Otherwise, your local library may provide access or you can email the very nice authors for a PDF.

The volume largely deals with data from the Albertosaurus bonebed at Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park a few hours south of Edmonton, Alberta, or a few hours north of Calgary, Alberta, depending on which way the world is oriented for you. The bonebed was originally discovered in 1910 by Barnum Brown during the AMNH expedition down the Red Deer River. It was largely forgotten until its rediscovery in 1997 by Phil Currie, then of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Excavations were conducted by the Tyrrell from 1998 to 2005, and by the University of Alberta from 2006-2010. Many volunteers and students have helped out at the site over the years and many, many Albertosaurus bones have been recovered.

A few previous papers have dealt with the Albertosaurus bonebed, including a review of evidence for gregarious behaviour in this taxon, tyrannosaur life tables, and the description of the new alvarezsaurid Albertonykus. However, this is the first collection of papers on this scientifically important locality, and includes papers on microvertebrates from the site, Albertosaurus tooth biomechanics, palaeopathologies, and more. A particularly fun paper is the rather juicy history of Albertosaurus discoveries by Darren Tanke.

So go check out this great special CJES volume! And congratulations to my fellow Currie Lab members Derek, Miriam, Phil, and Lisa for getting these papers finished.

Here’s the complete listing of papers you can find at the CJES website:

Currie and Koppelhus. Introduction to Albertosaurus special issue (and in French, too!)

Eberth and Currie. Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and taphonomy of the Albertosaurus bonebed (upper Horseshoe Canyon Formation; Maastrichtian), southern Alberta, Canada.

Koppelhus and Braman. Upper Cretaceous palynostratigraphy of the Dry Island area.

Larson, Brinkman and Bell. Faunal assemblages from the upper Horseshoe Canyon Formation, and early Maastrichtian cool-climate assemblage from Alberta, with special reference to the Albertosaurus sarcophagus bonebed.

Newbrey, Murray, Brinkman, Wilson, and Neuman. A new articulated freshwater fish (Clupeomorpha, Ellimmichthyiformes) from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, Maastrichtian, of Alberta, Canada.

Tanke and Currie. A history of Albertosaurus discoveries in Alberta, Canada.

Carr. A taxonomic assessment of the type series of Albertosaurus sarcophagus and the identity of Tyrannosauridae (Dinosauria, Coelurosauria) in the Albertosaurus bonebed from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Campanian-Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous).

Buckley, Larson, Reichel, and Samman. Quantifying tooth variation within a single population of Albertosaurus sarcophagus (Theropoda: Tyrannosauridae) and implications for identifying isolated teeth of tyrannosaurids.

Reichel. The heterodonty of Albertosaurus sarcophagus and Tyrannosaurus rex: biomechanical implications inferred through 3-D models.

Bell. Palaeopathological changes in a population of Albertosaurus sarcophagus from the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta, Canada.

Erickson, Currie, Inouye, and Winn. A revised life table and survivorship curve for Albertosaurus sarcophagus based on the Dry Island mass death assemblage.

Currie and Eberth. On gregarious behaviour in Albertosaurus.


  1. If memory serves the Albertosaurus bonebed is at the top of unit 4. I wonder how old that horizon is compared to the Javelina.

  2. I've been reading the papers as they become available on CJES: great stuff!!

  3. What kind of palynomorphs are present?