Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fishy findings!

          It was a grand start to the week for Andrea Hrenchuk and myself. We took a school out digging to the highest point on the escarpment, Mount Nebo! The kids had an excellent time digging and uncovered a few fossils! We then joined up with the rest of the crew at our "Xiphactinus Killzone" site. Joesph Hatcher was hardcore excited about his recent finds from last week. And was overjoyed to be finding more Xiphactinus fossils.

          The crew went back to the "Xiphactinus Killzone" the next day. The name comes from a fossil that was peaking out of the ditch wall, which was recovered last year right before the end of the 2009 field season. The fossil ended up being a Xiphactinus, and the site became a top priority for excavation for this season because of that glorious find. A variety of different creatures are being found in the Killzone-- including mosasaur vertebrae! Which Linda found on Tuesday. Linda (the first picutre on your left) is one of our fantastic volunteers who is mostly in the lab where she preps fossils so they may be researched or put on display for the public. Hrenchuk grid-mapped fossils, including mosasaur and fish vertebrae, that were still in-situ (haven't been disturbed from their resting place). She then proceeded to apply a field jacket to the specimens so that the fragile fossils may be transported back to the museum safely and intact. Field jackets are made of different layers including wet newspaper/paper towel, burlap (potato sack), and plaster of Paris.  Wednesday, the crew was back at the site again. And the site was producing more mosasaur vertebrae, fish vertebrae, and micro fossils again! However, our volunteers couldn't take the 32°C and 41 humidex heat, so the crew headed out. The crew returned and worked on the Xiphactinus Killzone, and found more fishy vertebra and started cleaning up the site to prepare for our visitors on Monday. And who might these visitors be? Stay tuned to our blog to find out!
-Jaclyn Kozak

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