In the lab at last

I really enjoy fossil preparation, but unfortunately I don’t get to do a lot of it because there are so many other things that have to be taken care of (like excavations; I know, what a tragedy!). I’ve actually had a little time the last couple of days to do some prep work.

The five bones shown above are all fish vertebrae from Carmel Church; Ward removed them from a whale skull jacket while I was in Wyoming. I have no idea at this point what taxa each represents, although there seem to be at least two taxa represented among these five bones.

The only one I’ve actually prepared is the large vertebra in the center. The other four are all still encrusted with sediment, and have to be cleaned using an air scribe. The large vertebra took me about 3 hours to prep. I often tell visitors that each day in the field results in at least a week’s work in the lab; this specimen is a good example of that.

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

6 Responses to In the lab at last

  1. B. Heim says:

    The center lower one definitely looks like tuna. Also possibly the one on the right as well. See: under upper topics drop down faunas then click on Teleosts which brings you to the fish page. All images are clickable on the Teleosts page (brings up text and more images).

  2. Boesse says:

    Oh, good! Thunnus is exactly what I first though when I saw the large vertebra; good to know someone more reputable as far as fish are concerned reached the same conclusion.

  3. Alton Dooley says:

    Thunnus is something I was considering, but I wasn’t very sure of it; the images Bill linked to look like a good match for the large vertebra. We also have several Thunnus hypurals and posterior vertebrae from Carmel Church, so it would be consistent with the other specimens we’ve found.

    I keep a link to on all the blog pages; I consider it a model for online references.

  4. Brian Beatty says:

    You might also consider consulting the FLMNH Zooarchaeology fishes element collection, or a similar one in another museum. I have two fish element identification guides, one for Atlantic fishes (which isn’t great), and one for fishes of the Pacific northwest. Neither are comprehensive, but they might be of help. I’ll try to track down the citations and post them soon.

  5. Hey Brian,

    I could REALLY benefit from both of those! As I’m sure many others would… I look forward to the citations!

  6. Doug says:

    At least you get to do prep work. Oh, how I miss those days…

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