We spent a scorching day working on trenches for the four jackets we’re hoping to remove by this Saturday. As usual, this produced a wealth of teeth and small bones that had to be removed and bagged (and, in some cases, repaired first), including some rare finds. Perhaps the most unusual was a large bird bone (above), which I believe is an ulna. We have duck remains from Carmel Church that are comparable in size to this.
The abundance of fish bones from the pit continued today, including this upper anterior tooth from a tautog:
Another find from the trenches was this nice neural plate from a sea turtle (exterior view on the left, internal view on the right):
I initially thought that this represented another leatherback turtle plate. After removing it and cleaning it up a bit, I changed my mind. The shape of the plate is pretty regular, it’s quite thin, and it had a prominent ridge on the interior surface for attaching to the neural spine of the vertebra. I think this is a plate from the cheloniid turtle Procolpochelys. Even though it wasn’t a leatherback, this was still a nice find, because unlike our other cheloniid turtle Syllomus, Procolpochelys is very rare at Carmel Church.
We were run of the site late in the afternoon by approaching thunderstorms, but we’re still on schedule to wrap up this weekend. In the meantime, here’s some more first grade paleoart from Monroeton Elementary: