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Predictive Map Leads Fossil Hunters to Pay Dirt [Slide Show]

New technique helps paleontologists narrow their search for ancient bones

By Kate Wong

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VASTNESS OF

Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin illustrates the fossil hunter’s dilemma: Where to begin looking for remains?  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

FLAT TERRAIN

covered with shrubs is bad for finding fossils. The team was able to avoid such areas using their novel technique.  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

PREDICTIVE MAPS

guided the team to these sandstones, which turned out to mark the first fossil-bearing site located using this approach.  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

AFTER ARRIVING

at the sandstone site, 10 team members crawled the area for an hour and a half before finding the first concentration of fossils there.  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

EXPEDITION MEMBER

Brett Nachman of the University of Texas at Austin spots fossils.  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

ANT HILLS

may contain fossils. The ants collect teeth, foot bones and other bits of small mammals when building their mounds.  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

TINY JAW

of a primate in the genus Cantius that lived around 55 million to 50 million years ago is an especially important discovery that the team made while ground-truthing the predictive maps.  Image: Robert Anemone....[ More ]

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