Last month I was fortunate to be able to travel to Argentina for some research time and to attend and present at the Fourth Latin American Vertebrate Paleontology Conference in San Juan. Part of the meeting involved a field trip to the nearby Ischigualasto National Park which is famous for its exposures of Triassic rocks and for fossils of some of the earliest dinosaurs including Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus. As I work at the other Triassic Park, Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, I was really looking forward to this visit and it did not dissappoint. Below I've posted some photos highlighting my visit.
The visitors center includes mounts (below) and life reconstructions (above) of many of the animals found in Triassic strata in the park. There are also exhibits of actual bones.
Outcrops of the Upper Triassic Ischigualasto Formation. The expanse of the exposures is incredible.
Bones, the Ischigualasto is full of bones.
Christian Sidor and Zhe-Xi Luo getting excited about a cynodont skull that Chris found.
Another in-situ cynodont skull. They are extremely (and amazingly) common here.
Rhynchosaur bones weathering out. Again, the amount of fossil material in the exposures is staggering. Amazingly rhynchosaurs and cynodonts are so common, they are usually not collected. Working in a formation (the Chinle) where these types of animals are relatively unknown, it was very difficult to leave this material behind.
The younger Los Colorados Formation above the Ischigualsto.
Ischigualsto Park and the Ischigualsto Formation are absolutely incredible and I hope to be able to return someday to make new discoveries.