It rained last night and this morning, so we didn’t get into the pit until after lunch. Fortunately, our preparations last night kept everything in good shape, and the pit was pretty well drained. Our first task was to flip yesterday’s jacket, which went perfectly (above). Here’s the same jacket at the end of the day, after the bottom of the jacket had been added:
The removal of jacket 1 gave us better access to jacket 2, and we spent the next 5 hours working on its trench. This was complicated by the large amount of bone that had to be removed, including this nicely preserved lumbar vertebra:
We also had to remove a small rib, comparable in size to the ones we removed last Saturday. These are interesting ribs, which all seem to come from a small baleen whale. Here’s the rib cross section (this is for you, Brian):
This rib is quite dense. Brian Beatty and I talked about dense baleen whale ribs at some length in our paper last year. I suspect that this feature can be used to distinguish between odontocete and mysticete ribs, even when the animals are the same size.
After removing these bones we were finally ready to make the next jacket (CCQ-2010-02):
And here’s the completed jacket:
We plan to remove one more jacket this trip, although it’s going to be a tough one. I expect we’ll be working on it all day tomorrow.