Things started drying out today, and Tim and I moved perhaps a half-ton of sediment before lunch. By around 2:00 pm we were into the bonebed, with several small bits and pieces of bone exposed. In the image above, “1” is a vertebra, “2” is an isolated vertebral epiphysis, and “3” is a small rib, all from whales. The vertebra is particularly interesting, because I’m pretty sure it’s the next vertebra in the skeleton we’ve been excavating over the last year. It appears that this will be the most complete skeleton we’ve ever collected at Carmel Church.
I mentioned a sunfish jaw (actually the fused premaxillae) in today’s Twitter feed; here it is in dorsal (left) and occlusal (right) views:
This is at least the third sunfish jaw from this pit, although the other two have caused me to have some doubts about how these bones are interpreted.
Some other goodies from today include a partial dentary (lower jaw) from some type of bony fish:
Here’s a short video of a killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) that apparently lives in the quarry; we saw it three times today, and killdeer often nest in gravel (I’ve also seen them at Solite). Killdeer will try to lead predators away from their nests, which is apparently what this one was trying to do.