Exploring Exposures

Squid Pen (Gladius)
Monday was a calm day as Lisa had the only tour; an indoor museum tour that went really well. I headed out to one of our research sites with Joey and we spent the entire day digging up fossils in the Gammon. I found many little teeth and fish vertebra that were well preserved. Joey was busy trying to excavate a fossil that he and Anita had found the day before. They found a squid pen in the lower Gammon rock layer, closer to the Boyne rocks than any other fossil we have in our collection. It was very delicate and difficult to remove from its matrix.

Prospecting for fossils
 Tuesday was a busy day as Matt and I had a dig tour, but the forecast was for rain. For that reason we decided to go to the dig site first and then return to the museum afterwards so we would stay dry. We had a large group that were excited to be out and digging and they found several fossils. It was very exciting!

Great find of the day!
Thursday was another dig tour. It was an older class and Lisa and I had a blast with them as we went to one of our sites that we don’t normally visit. It was a very hot day and the fossils were not in great abundance. Then, all of a sudden, one young lady found a fish vertebra (possibly from a Cimolichthys). No more fossils were found after that, but the class still had a great time. After the tour, Joey, Lisa and I travelled to a couple different sites again, examining exposures and different outcrops. Unfortunately we didn’t have any luck in the fossil department, but we had a great time finding the shale! One of the exposures that we found was a new one, along an old railway track that is no longer in use. The Boyne shale was exposed in great layers alongside a little ditch. Climbing over to the strata was interesting and while we didn’t find any shark teeth, we found plenty of hungry mosquitos who decided we were the best thing since chocolate cake. Needless to say, we were swatting our arms and legs more than necessary and that may have contributed to no shark teeth being found.

Shale exposure
The next day was almost a repeat of the day before. Lisa and I had another older class dig tour full of great kids who made it a fun day. The class had fun digging up bentonite and collecting the Pembina Diamonds. This time after the tour, Lisa and I headed to one of our research sites and spent the rest of the day picking around in the lower Gammon (another shale member). It wasn’t long before we found some great stuff. Lisa was finding herself digging into deep layers of selenite crystals whereas I found several fish teeth and vertebra. Most were small and poorly preserved, but there were several that were larger and perfectly preserved. I was excited!