13 May 2009
Our fieldwork near Shanshan, Xinjiang, China was over all too soon. As last year, we have been quite successful. We found articulated bones of a huge sauropod (a 4.2 m long series of 13 anterior caudal vertebrae, several ribs and a complete leg have been exposed, but are now still waiting patiently in the field for our return), another interesting sauropod locality, several small teeth and bones of theropods and stegosaurs, and - during the last days of our work - scattered bones of a large theropod.
The Late Jurassic fossil turtle locality found last year, now named "Mesa Chelonia" yields more specimens than ever expected - our latest calculation resulted in a total number of about 3000 turtles in this lagerstaette. Many are complete, including skulls and postcranial remains and they belong to at least two xinjiangchelyid taxa, one of which surely is a new species. More information about this unique locality can be found in our SVP-Abstract and my subsequent talk, provided that the abstract will be accepted.
However, all these fantastic new localities promise more exciting work in the future - if I can raise the money for another expedition to the Turpan Basin. So if you know potential sponsors, just let me know...