All I wanna do is find fossils with you!

        This week at the CFDC-- fossils, fossils and MORE fossils! On rainy Monday, Katie Magotiaux, Matt Duda, Joesph Hatcher and myself attempted many of our sites with variable success. Most of our sites were too wet, Hatcher did verify Lapinskie's mosasaur find at one of our sites. We also went looking for invertebrate fossils and bentonite layers at Odanah shale exposures. We did end up at one of our unnamed sites, where the famous paleontologist, Elizabeth Nicholls, researched and published her findings on its stratigraphic sections for the world.
        Magotiaux and Anita Janzic had more success at finding invertebrate fossils on Tuesday-- finding a bivalve yet to be identified and other unidentifiable impressions, while Duda and Hatcher were finding fossils north-west! The same bank that earlier in the season Duda found a Xiphactinus jaw and Janzic found articulated mosasaur vertebrae, is producing yet again! On Tuesday the team found many fragments and a crushed mosasaur vertebra of Pembina preservation. They also collected seven mosasaur vertebrae and several other fragments!
        The whole Fossil Crew, along with CFDC's paleontologists-- Anita Janzic and Joesph Hatcher, went back to the north-west bank that was booming with fossils on Wednesday. Lapenskie found a lovely set of mosasaur pteryogoid teeth-- which are a mosasaur's second set of teeth that are hooked back, forcing prey to their stomachs with no chance of escape! Lapenskie's luck continued through-out the day, she also found a beautifully preserved Tylosaurus (a large mosasaur) tooth. Andrea Hrenchuk and Katie Magotiaux did quarry mapping of a horse skeleton for a taphonomy study, whilst the rest of us were finding fossils. Both are biology students at the University of Winnipeg and enjoy identifying bones! If you ever have a bone that needs identification-- they're your girls!
         Duda had a dig tour on Friday. He went and visited last year's death assemblage and found a few new fragments and a mosasaur tooth, possibly from it's pterygoid set! Also at the site he noticed cougar footprints and feces! Our animal friends are usually just cows, but don't worry yourselves! The CFDC has and will remain to take the utmost precaution at all their sites-- to protect themselves, the public, and the wildlife.
        Friday was also an exciting day for Hatcher at the "Xiphactinus Kill zone". He discovered  Xiphactinus vertebra that started the site's interest and a glorious fragment of a very tiny vertebra that he needs to do some research to identify. The Xiphactinus vertebra had many spikes attached (ribs and neural arches!) as well as possible skull elements.  It may be in the Gammon Ferruginous member, that isn't readily visible or present Manitoba. A geologist from the Manitoba Geological Survey plans on visiting the Morden area to confirm that this layer is indeed the Gammon! What a wonderful and huge scientific find for the CFDC if it turns out to be so!
        Hrenchuk ended off the week on a positive note at the "Xiphactinus Killzone". She took her full-day dig tour group to the site to do some brushing, pickaxing, shoveling, carrying buckets, and learning. Much fun was had and is yet to be had at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre!
-Jaclyn Kozak