Tuesday, July 30, 2013

An Embarrassment of Riches

5th Update - an Embarrassment of Riches

This report covers from June 18th to July 22nd. 

We continue to uncover many more bones in the block. Most of them are relatively large, and many are touching each other. While this makes it difficult to remove them totally, we have such an embarrassment of riches! First of all, we have removed two touching vertebrae (centrums) one of which still have part of the neural arch attached. 

There are another 3 centrums underneath those, and a wonderful shaped bone that may be part of either a hind limb or a front limb:

We have a large curved bone with a hole in it. I'm betting it is part of the skull. 

There is another large curved bone with a rougher surface (no, it's not preparation mistakes). Possibly another part of the skull.

I uncovered the scapula mentioned in the previous entry. This will be definitely hard to remove, as there appears to be another long arm bone immediately behind it. The long bone has the typical hollow end we've come to expect, caused by the animal being immature.

We have other animals as well - a wealth of Nautiloids (Chambered Nautilus). In this small part of the first block we have already identified 5 of them, the largest about 11cm across. This is an high concentration - generally Nautiloids are rare in the fossil record. My theory is that they were scavenging the carcass as it lay on the bottom, and all were buried together in a landslide (turbidite flow)

Here's one of the other volunteers at OMSI - Jerry Dodson. You can tell our working conditions are just fine - casual attire! Jerry's a retired accountant, and I'm a retired engineer . You don't have to be a graduate paleontologist to learn to prepare fossils!

Last of all, here's a new display case to display the larger bones as they have been prepared. We'll keep adding them as they are ready. Smaller fragments will  stay in plastic bags so they don't get lost. 

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