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Mongolian paleontologists with a dream come to Montana State University
Date:1/15/2008

aid. "It's about science. It's about getting data. Obviously, the better the data, the better the questions you can ask. You want people that have been trained well to be out there.

"The more people you have looking, the more stuff you are going to get," Horner continued. "I'm just interested in getting as many good people in the field as we can to find as much stuff as we can to figure out as much of this as we can."

Horner's teams of paleontologists found 180 psittacosaurus skeletons over three field seasons in Mongolia. They excavated as many as 80 in one week. The fossils remain in Mongolia, but Bolortsetseg said she will fly there this spring to retrieve some of the longer bones to prepare and study at the Museum of the Rockies. She especially wants to spend time in the museum's histology lab, learning new methods of studying the dinosaur bones.

"They have a really good histology lab here," Bolortsetseg said. "The histology lab is the best in the country."

Bolortsetseg plans to work with Horner for about a year, then return to Mongolia where there are "many, many" fossils, but not enough people to study them.

"Eventually, in the future, we would like to have a facility in Mongolia to carry on all the lab work we can do in Mongolia," Bolortsetseg said. "The Museum of the Rockies is helping us to establish research facilities in Mongolia."

Baasanjav and Badamkhatan will work at the museum and study English at the Ace Language Institute in Bozeman this spring. In the fall, Baasanjav will start working on her master's degree. She expects it will take her about two years to complete. Badamkhatan will continue working on his doctorate.

"That will take the rest of my life," he joked.

Badamkhatan said he became interested in paleontology while taking geological and paleontology classes in college. His parents, brother and sister are all engineers.

Baasanjav said she started out as a chem
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Contact: Evelyn Boswell
evelynb@montana.edu
406-994-5135
Montana State University
Source:Eurekalert

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