Two days ago I showed pictures of a partial fish skeleton, that included six vertebrae. One of these vertebrae was a little larger than the others, and set off from them a bit. Here’s a closeup of it from Monday:
The vertebra is the round object near the center, flanked by two large rocks. The portion exposed here is comparable in size and shape to this fish vertebra, which we collected last year about 5 feet away:
In fact, the supposed giant fish vertebra is a small baleen whale atlas vertebra (the first bone in the neck). Oh, well. It’s still a nice find, the other five vertebrae are still fish, and I still believe those five are from the same individual.
The embarrassing misidentification aside, we had a highly productive day. In the morning we were visited by Mark Goethel and David MacDonald from Martin Marietta Materials. Carmel Church is a Martin Marietta quarry, and it’s through their generosity that we’ve been able to access the site over these last two decades.
We also made a lot of progress on our trenches, and we should be able to begin jacketing tomorrow or Friday. We also pulled some interesting bones out of our trenches today, including a humerus (upper arm bone) from a small toothed whale: