After two fantastic weeks in the Gobi, I’m finally back in UB. I just moved into an apartment north of Sukhbaatar Square, and it’s settling in that I’ll be here for another month. We had a really successful expedition, so let’s get right into it!
Note: I’ll cover the Gobi trip over three weeks, focusing on each of the localities visited. I’ll add some updates on my work in town, too.
After a long two-day drive taking us through Arvaikheer, we arrived in Guriliin Tsav. So named for the white appearance of the badlands (Guriliin = with flour, Tsav = cliffs), this is a small stretch of badlands that’s often neglected because it lies only 10km from the much larger Bugiin Tsav. Our mission was to map the site and see if we could improve the fossil sampling, both geochemically and in terms of finding interesting specimens.
The first day gave us a taste of what we were in for: in an afternoon, I found parts of 3 Tarbosaurus skulls (two braincases and a set of nasals), a poached oviraptorid, and a poached ankylosaur with a jacketed forelimb the poachers left behind. Unfortunately, I was dumb and didn’t take photos of any of that material. Luckily, I did take photos of a gecko under a rock, and a Saurolophus with skin impressions of the eye that Chinzorig found.
The real focus of our trip became apparent on day 3: our host Tsogtbaatar found an incredible discovery that I can’t wait to reveal soon. The quarry immediately became a priority, and we put the remaining 4 days towards the backbreaking work of getting the specimen out. I did take lots of photos of that quarry, but unfortunately I can’t share more than this one for the moment.
Don’t worry, though, I guarantee you’ll hear more about this specimen in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy a couple of 4K fly-throughs of Guriliin Tsav!