That allowed us to get closer to the vertebral column and work on it in more detail, where we found…more vertebrae. There’s no indication that the column is ending. The red arrows below indicate new vertebrae from this whale, all found in the last 3 days:
One the other hand, one of the vertebrae found last year turns out to probably be from a different whale. The vertebra indicated below is a caudal (tail) vertebra, but it’s located adjacent to this whale’s thoracic (back) region. As a more posterior caudal, it’s probably also too large to be from the same whale.
Last fall we also found parts of both flippers, removing one of them. From the other, we removed the humerus (upper arm), and located the scapula (shoulder blade) and the radius (one of the forearm bones). Today we found the other forearm bone, the ulna. Below, “1” is the scapula, “2” is the radius, and “3” is the newly-discovered ulna (the humerus was originally sitting in about the position of the number “1”):
Late in the afternoon Christina Byrd happened to look behind her head and found a large fish vertebra, possibly from some type of billfish, sticking out of the St. Marys Formation (for those new to the blog, St. Marys’ fossils are very rare at Carmel Church):
We’re now trying to find a find a way to get through the vertebral column so we can make our next jacket. While it didn’t rain today, there’s now a chance of snow this Friday, so we’ll have to see how things progress.