Polar Excavation

Paleontologists who work on Antarctica and its islands face many difficulties. Their fieldwork season is limited to a short time during the continent's brief summer, and the fossils they collect are found scattered, broken, and worn among the gravels of ancient stream beds.


Ammonites varied in size. Some grew no bigger than a human fingernail, while others reached 6% ft (2 m) in diameter.

In European folklore, ammonites were called "snakestones," as it was believed they gave protection against snake bites hypsilophodont (unnamed) ►

Parts of a hypsilophodont backbone, skull, and legs were found on Vega Island. The animal appears to have been one of the larger members of this group.

u theropod (unnamed)


tipped with sharp claws


tipped with sharp claws u theropod (unnamed)

In 2003, a trail of gastroliths (stomach stones) were found scattered on James Ross Island. They led paleontologists to the remains of the meat-eating dinosaur they came from. The team collected much of its lower legs, parts of its backbone, skull fragments, and bits of teeth. They belong to a new carnivore, which was 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) tall.

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