Solite excavation, Day 2

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Yesterday marked the second day of our Solite Quarry salvage operation. After spending last Saturday largely planning and scouting, we were able to make a lot more progress this week.

One of the things that helped our operation was the use of a portable rock saw, supplied by Andy Heckert and Appalachian State, to divide the outcrop surface into more manageable pieces:

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With a salvage operation like this we’re not looking that hard for individual fossils while we’re in the field. Instead, we’re focused in removing the beds known to contain fossils, which we’ll examine at the museum later. But that doesn’t mean we ignore fossils staring us in the face! Yesterday was a pretty good day for the little protorosaur Tanytrachelos. While the preservation’s not great, the one below has most of the ribcage and portions of the front and back legs:

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This one is still largely hidden by overlying sediment, but includes a nice foot at the bottom:

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Here’s our most complete skeleton of the day:

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Again, a lot of this one is still covered, but you can see part of the neck at left, a forearm and wrist at top center, most of the ribcage, the pelvis and part of the femur, and on the right (a little out of focus) is a foot.

We intend to be back at Solite next week. Again, thanks to Ararat Rock for providing access, and to National Geographic for providing funding.

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2 Responses to Solite excavation, Day 2

  1. Doug says:

    i guess i’ll ask. What has Solite produced besides insects and Tanytrachelos?

  2. altondooley says:

    Solite has produced a large number of plants, including at least 3 new taxa. There are also several different types of fish and fairly abundant vertebrate traces (dinosaur tracks), and it is the only known locality of the gliding reptile Mecistotrachelos.

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