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Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project

"The Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project  involves the collection and study of Triassic to Jurassic age vertebrates from the southern Transantarctic Mountains near the Beardmore and Shackleton Glaciers, Antarctica. Augustana Geology professor William R. Hammer currently the Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant supporting this research, has led eight vertebrate collecting expeditions to these regions since 1977." Most recently, Dr. Hammer led an Antarctic expedition in December 2010-January 2011. Included among the taxa discovered is the theropod 22-foot long dinosaur Cryolophosaurus ellioti--the only one of its kind in the world--on display at Augustana's Fryxell Geology Museum. During the 2010/2011 expedition, the team included Dr. Hammer, Augustana fossil preparator, Josh Matthews and Dr. Nate Smith '02 -- excavation of Cryolophosaurus and Glacialisaurus hammeri (a sauropodomorph long-neck, long-tail dinosaur related to Apatosaurus)  was complete and two additional sauropomorph dinosaurs new to science were discovered, one a nearly complete juvenile skeleton.  These specimens are currently being described in collaboration with researchers at the Field Museum in Chicago and at Howard University.