Carmel Church Day 5

Success! Our rather risky jacket-flipping technique worked better than expected, and we successfully turned the jacket containing the whale scapula, at least 8 vertebrae, and bunches of ribs. The whole idea was to use the jacket to control the unavoidable bone breakage further into the hill, and it worked nicely; all the breaks are clean and will be easily repairable in the lab. After flipping, we made a bottom jacket for this material.

The photo below shows on a small scale one of the things that makes Carmel Church so difficult to excavate:

These are three separate bones, the way they came out of the ground; all in contact with each other and pointing in different directions.

Some of our smaller finds today:

A tympanic bulla (one of the ear bones) from a small toothed whale (this came from the bottom of the jacket).

Cylindracanthus, which is thought to be an extinct swordfish. This is a partial specimen, and was partially crushed over a rock. Cylindracanthus is primarily thought of as an Eocene genus, but we find them frequently in the Calvert at Carmel Church.

This entry was posted in Carmel Church odontocetes, Carmel Church Osteichthyans, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Carmel Church Day 5

  1. Alton Dooley says:

    A reminder, we’re approaching that 10,000th page view, so remember to check the hit counter. If it reads 10,000, take a screen shot showing the counter and email it to me

    See this page:

  2. Doug says:

    I have read that paleontologists working with Riversleigh fossils use diluted acid baths to free the fossils from their limestone matrix. But bone on bone seems like a different matter all together. Also, o the subject of breaks, when they excavated Aucasaurus, I remember the book wording it as “we had to make the painful decision of where to break the tail so as to make the jackets manageable”.

  3. Alton Dooley says:

    Acetic acid baths are a common method of removing bones from carbonate rocks like limestone; bones are phosphate and react slowly if at all with acetic acid. We used this technique when I was in graduate school at LSU to remove vertebrates from the Fleming Formation in Louisiana (which, coincidentally, is the same age as the Calvert Formation).

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