She whooped in excitement and headed
down the hill, toting Levi on her hip. "Mom!
Mom! Grandma!" She yelled. By the time
she got back to the berry patch she was all out
Her grandmother and mother were running
toward her. "What's wrong? Is
Levi all right? Is there a bear? Did
you get hurt?" they asked.
"I found a bone up by the rocks!"
"You about gave us a heart attack,
coming down the hill screaming like that over
some old bones?" puffed Grandma.
"Very old bones Grandma, they
could be dinosaur bones."
They all went up the hill together
to look. They stood around the find puzzling
"This bone must be older than
any of the peoples that ever lived around here.
Whenever we find even the oldest of the ancient
fish camps the artifacts are simply buried!not
embedded in stone." Grandma said,
"Come on we'll tell the village council.
They will know what to do."
Late that evening Elena lay awake in
bed thinking about the day's events. After they
had talked to members of the village council,
members of the council had gone up to the site.
Mr. Savage had a small hand held GPS. He was able
to get the exact latitude and longitude of the
site and then mark it on the map. Closer examination
showed two more bones and some shells buried in
the rock, right there in the same spot.
Elena glanced again at the sketch she
drew of one of the shell fossils. None of the
elders she showed it to had ever seen another
shell fish quite like it. It was almost mystical
to imagine that it lived during an age of such
The land where the bones were found
belonged to the native corporation, so Mr. Evanoff
had called the headquarters to inform them of
the discovery. They were very interested
in what she reported to them and said that they
would send someone out as soon as they could.
In the mean time it was important that no one
touch the bone or the area around it. The
scientists that would come would be able to find
out more from the rock around it. They would
also know how to carefully remove the bone and
Elena was so curious about what kind
of bone it could be that she could not stop thinking
about it. At school the teacher had shown
them an Internet site about dinosaurs in Alaska.
She decided to ask the teacher if she could look
at the site again and see if she could figure
out what kind of dinosaur it could be. Maybe
if she looked at the maps it would tell her what
kinds of dinosaurs were likely to have lived in
this area. She went to sleep dreaming of
bones rising up out of the earth into glorious
Elena got up very early the next morning.
She attempted to skip breakfast and grabbed a
piece of pilot bread to eat on the way.
"Where's the fire?" Elena's mother
exclaimed. "The teacher won't even
be there yet. You'll be sitting on the steps
waiting for someone to unlock the door."
"Mom, I want to get there early enough to
research the bones on the Internet. Maybe
I can find out something about them."
"Just relax, sit down and eat
your breakfast, you'll have plenty of time."
her mom said calmly.
"Ohh, Mom!" Elena sat down
and ate as quickly as she could.
At school, she was able to find the
web site quickly at the Alaska
Museum of Natural History web site. Her teacher
had bookmarked the site. The geologic
map was of the whole state of Alaska and so
was rather general.
To figure out where the Kuskokwim River
was she had to look at just the edges of the land
and find what must be the Kuskokwim Bay. She made
a general guess that her village was in the Mesozoic
part of the map. That meant that the rocks that
were on the surface around her village were probably
formed during the Mesozoic
Era. "Wow!" she thought,
"I knew rocks were old, but I never really
thought about how these rocks right here were
being made when the dinosaurs were walking around!"
Elena looked at the list of dinosaurs
that were around Alaska in the Mesozoic Era. There
were quite a few possibilities. She looked for
clues about finding
dinosaurs and information
about each dinosaur on the web site. "There
is no way I can know what kind of dinosaur this
is for sure. I'm going to make a wild guess now,"
she decided. "Then as I get more information,
I can prove or disprove my theory." By looking
at the size of the bones and knowing that it is
probably from the Mesozoic Era, I guess that the
bones are from a _________________."