Dinosaur Fossil finds
Tetrapod fossils are found in a number of forms. The most spectacular is the “articulated skeleton”. (dinosaur playground equipment)This is the ultimate prize because it has all the bones still joined together as when the dinosaur died. However, the temptation is to leave it as found, and so information is lost if the skeleton is not dissected and studied minutely.
The next best rhing is an “associated skeleton”. This is a jumble of bones that obviously comes from the same animal, hut which have been broken up and scattered. Usually something is missing, carried away by the forces that pulled it apart. (dinosaur equipment)More common is an ^isolated bone”. Sometimes its origin is obvious, but not always, and scientific errors have been perpetrated by the misidentification of isolated bones. Dravidosaurus was thought to be a stegosaur, living in India where no other stegosaurs had been found, and existing tens of millions of years after the stegosaurs were supposed to have died out. The isolated bones on which the identification was based were actually parts of a plesiosaur, a marine reptile.
Bits of bone that have no scientific value whatsoever are termed “floar” Some dinosaur excavations map and catalogue every hir of float found, in the hope that they might one day yield some information. (animatronic dinosaur)Most excavations just ignore them.
Finally there are trace fossils, footprints, droppings, eggs and other lines of evidence that an animal existed, but without any physical remains. Paradoxically it may be that trace fossils tell us more about the animals life than the body fossils.