card
027

Ukhaa Tolgod

OLogy Series
place
card
027

Ukhaa Tolgod

OLogy Series
place

Ukhaa Tolgod (OOK-uh TALL-gud) -- located in the Gobi Desert -- is the recently discovered hot spot for Museum paleontologists. Many spectacularly preserved skeletons from 80 million years ago have been found here, including
ancient mammals and the nesting Oviraptor.

Buried Alive?
The ancient animals preserved at Ukhaa Tolgod died 80 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period. Some scientists think that many of the animals found in the rock at Ukhaa Tolgod were entombed by sand avalanches. These sudden walls of sand could cover an animal in an instant, but not always kill it. Several specimens were discovered in positions that suggest that they were buried alive and were trying to dig their way to the surface.

In Mongolian, Ukhaa Tolgod means:

brown hills

big fossil finds

hot dry place

Are you right?

Correct!

Ukhaa Tolgod literally means "brown hills" in Mongolian.

Ukhaa Tolgod is without a doubt one of the greatest fossil sites in the world -- and one of the most difficult to pronounce!

Paleontologists collect every fossil specimen they find at Ukhaa Tolgod.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Because of costs and the limited time of the expedition, only the most important fossils get to make the trip back to New York.

Ukhaa Tolgod, Mongolia
Exploration: the Museum team was first to identify this area's rich fossil beds in 1993
Description: miles and miles of eroded red sandstone, grass covered hills, steep cliffs and a valley with a dry riverbed, located on the south side of the Gilvent Mountain range in the Namegt Valley of the Gobi Desert.
Why it's important: This site is rich in fossils of dinosaurs and early mammals.

Image credits: courtesy of Discovery Channel Online; Jim Clark: courtesy Discovery Channel Online.