Solite Excavation: Day 20

Coelocanth whole

We had a very small crew today: Ray, Joe, and I from VMNH and science journalist Peter Brannen. Shortly after arriving to the quarry, Joe found a very nice coelacanth. The rest of the day was dry in regards to finding fossils (with the exception of the Tany. shown below). Continue reading

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Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 6

CCQ 3 verts float

Today was a half day but during this short period of time, the crew was successful in finding some photogenic fossils that I can share here. Above are the whale vertebra of different qualities of preservation and from different sections of the vertebral column. From left to right, an axis vertebra (cervical) that is slightly abraded, a thoracic vertebra more heavily abraded, and another vertebra that is abraded to that point that I cannot ID which section it is from. Continue reading

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Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 5

2 ribs ccq boulderfield

As we continued to focus on the boulder field, the crew unearthed more boulder boundaries and a potential end to the boulders…well, at least an end to the boulders that are in our current pit. During this time, Grant from VT found the two associated ribs shown above and VT student Tara found the thoracic vertebra below. Continue reading

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Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 4

IMG_0034

Due to poor weather conditions, lingering snow, and ice, I lost three days of excavation time. Fortunately, my next crew of volunteers arrived safely and had excellent weather conditions to work in on their first day. This new crew consists of undergraduate students from the College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, and Lynchburg College. Continue reading

Posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church Geology, Carmel Church Quarry, Vertebrate Paleontology | Leave a comment

Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 3

CCQ outcrop

My wish came true – the rain wasn’t as severe as I feared it would be! We were able to get into the pit and log about 6 hrs of work. Wednesday’s focus was on removing the Choptank Formation and finding the contact between it and the Calvert Formation. Also, this was the first day that I could see all of the pit area without the cover of snow. Continue reading

Posted in Carmel Church Quarry, Carmel Church reptiles, Chesapeake Group, Vertebrate Paleontology | 2 Comments

Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 2

Crew removing overburden

Today’s report will be relatively short. Despite the cold, my crew soldiered on to join me in the pit to begin the process of uncovering the area of the Calvert Formation I want to work on during this excavation. Task 1: remove the snow and ice still on the outcrop! Task 2: Start removing the overburden (alluvial sediments that washed onto the outcrop since last year and the overlying Choptank Formation). Continue reading

Posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church Quarry, Carmel Church reptiles, Chesapeake Group, Vertebrate Paleontology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 1

IMG_5621

Today marks the first of two things: VMNH’s first CCQ excavation of 2015 and my first excavation where I am the organizer and leader. Many thanks to Martin Marietta Quarry for continuing to support VMNH’s efforts in the quarry.

Due to the multiple storms that have hit Virginia during the last few weeks, there was an accumulation of snow within the quarry when we arrived. Continue reading

Posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church Osteichthyans, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group, Vertebrate Paleontology | 3 Comments