Carmel Church Day 7

Tim and I spent the day working on defining trenches for the exposed bones behind the main vertebra jacket. By early afternoon we had made a trench around the flipper material (above).

A closeup of some of these bones (above) is informative; there’s a lot of stuff going on here. The large bone at the bottom of the photo is (I think) the end of the ulna (one of the forearm bones). The long bone running along the right side of the image is a rib, and I think the rectangular bone immediately to the rib’s left at the bottom is a carpal (a wrist bone, although I’m not sure about that one).

The round bone at the center is a metacarpal seen end-on, and the hourglass-shaped bone partially hidden by it is one of the phalanges (a finger bone). The bone immediately above that, which is also touching the corner of the scale bar, is a plate from the shell of the sea turtle Syllomus.

Making a jacket requires undercutting the fossils, so that the jacket hold the fossils in place when they’re flipped. This can sometimes lead to rather cramped, awkward digging positions:

Here are a few finds from yesterday, after being cleaned up:

This is a vertebral epiphysis from a whale. An epiphysis forms each end of the vertebra, and fuses to the vertebral centrum as the whale reaches physical maturity (this epiphysis came from a whale that died before it was fully grown).

This bone is known by the highly technical term “fish thingy”. I’m not actually sure what this is, but we find vast numbers of them at Carmel Church, although this is a particularly large and well-preserved example. The texture of this bone is similar to that of identifiable fish bones at Carmel Church, which is why I think it’s a fish. If there are any ichthyologists reading the blog, please chime in if you can shed any light on this specimen.

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

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