From the Collections Room (Belostomatidae)

2014-06-25aI’m back at the museum after a short vacation, but the lab didn’t shut down in my absence. Christina took lots of photos of Solite insects while I was gone, including a number of belostomatids. Continue reading

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Secondary Adaptations conference

2014-06-06aImmediately after the Carmel Church excavation, Christina and I headed to George Mason University in Fairfax to attend the 7th Secondary Adaptations of Tetrapods to Life in the Water meeting (SecAd). The SecAd meetings occur every three years and have taken place all over the world. This was my second meeting, having attended the fourth meeting in 2005 in Akron. Continue reading

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Carmel Church Day 12

On Saturday we wrapped up our May Carmel Church excavation. With lots of bones turning up over the last couple of days and all the difficulties introduced by the boulder field, we spent the day prying blocks of sediment and bone off the boulders. For example, in the photo above the only area not underlain by boulders is the dark patch at top center. All the visible bones (around six ribs in the center of the photo) are sitting on top of a boulder. Continue reading

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Carmel Church Day 11

The strange bone Rowan found yesterday bothered me all night. I was frustrated because there was a large, fresh-looking break (above) and I felt that if I had the rest of the bone I might be able to make a more reliable identification. Unfortunately Rowan found the bone as float, laying out on the surface, so finding the rest was unlikely. Continue reading

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Carmel Church Day 10


We’ve finally reached a point in the excavation that I’ve been dreading. Although things started off a little slow, we’ve been gradually finding more and more bone. The problem is that these bones are wedged in and around the newly-discovered boulders, and that make removing them difficult. Continue reading

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Carmel Church, Day 9

We’re now focusing on three areas in the boulder field, that are producing a moderate number of bones. These all sit on and between boulders, and the boulders are dictating the progress of the excavation. With such a tight working space, we probably won’t be making any jackets on this trip, and instead are removing the bones one at a time. Continue reading

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Carmel Church Day 8

We took yesterday off for Memorial Day, but we were back at the excavation today. We’ve actually come across a small area (maybe 1 X 0.5 m) that looks a bit more like the typical bonebed, although I’m not sure there isn’t a boulder lurking underneath. We found several new bones in this area. Continue reading

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