Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( August 3, 1998)
RAPID CITY STUDENTS DIG FOR FOSSILS WITH SOUTH DAKOTA PALEONTOLOGISTS AT “ BIG PIG DIG” IN BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Four students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ( SDSM& T), are spending their summer digging for 33- million year old fossil mammals at a site known as the “ Big Pig Dig” in Badlands National Park. The field dig is a joint partnership between the National Park Service ( NPS) and the SDSM& T Museum of Geology.
Over 5,000 fossil bones have been removed from the site, which researchers have concluded was a watering hole over 33 million years ago for early pig- like mammals, rhinos, horses and deer- like mammals. Over 32 individual animals have been found at the site to date. Two graduate theses and several scientific reports have been published based on field work at the Big Pig Dig site.
After excavating and mapping the location of each fossil, SDSM& T researchers jacket each specimen with tissue paper, plaster and burlap. The specimen jackets are then carefully transported to the SDSM& T Museum of Geology, where they are prepared and curated.
Students participating in this summer’s field dig include Dan Lien, Rapid City; Casey Lillesve, Kasson, MN; Kyle Smith, Pickstown, SD; and Gerald Mundt, Minneapolis, MN.
Each summer SDSM& T’s field paleontology program attracts students, teachers and others from across the nation. The public can participate on a limited, space- available basis. To obtain additional information about SDSM& T’s field paleo program, individuals should contact Dr. Philip Bjork, SDSM& T Museum of Geology, at 1- 800- 544- 8162, ext. 2467, or via email: pbjork@ msmailgw. sdsmt. edu.
Press releases were sent to media outlets in the home towns of the four students participating in the Big Pig Dig. The students and their home towns are: Dan Lien, Rapid City; Casey Lillesve, Kasson, MN; Kyle Smith, Pickstown, SD; and Gerald Mundt, Minneapolis, MN.
( i: univ\ pressrele\ 0899\ Big Pig Dig Rapid City)
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