Well, what do I know? It looks like the bones we uncovered yesterday that are sitting in our trench are a crushed mandible after all (above). We’re going to try to remove this separately from the other material, hopefully tomorrow.
The apparent mandible is in the right side of the image below, just above the scale bar. This picture was taken late in the afternoon, after we had removed a couple of rib fragments that were sitting on top on the mandible.
This is apparently a detached right squamosal and exoccipital. It runs from the foramen magnum (the opening for the spinal cord) all the way to the tip of the zygomatic process (the cheekbone). If all this material represents a single skull, then this entire structure has been broken off and rotated about 60-70 degrees relative to the other skull fragments. That’s not unprecedented, but it is a little unusual.
Here’s one of our smaller finds today, the first neck vertebra from a bony fish (probably a drumfish):