Carmel Church Day 2

The ground was frozen this morning, but the bones were not obviously damaged by the cold weather. By 8:30 am the excavation was well underway. Since we’re only going to be here for a week, we’ve opened a pretty small pit. The area we’re working actually connects two much larger pits that we excavated in past years:

The area to the left of where we’re working (extending to just below the first pine branch) was excavated between 2005 and 2010, while the smaller pit to our right (extending just past the shadow on the cliff) was excavated on and off between 1998 and 2001.

One of the features of the sediments at Carmel Church is that it’s actually quite difficult to find the upper boundary of the Calvert Formation. This is because there are so many burrows from the overlying Choptank Formation extending down into it. In the image below the darker sediment is Calvert, while the light streaks are burrows filled with Choptank sediment:

We found several new bones this morning, including the patch below. These include at least one rib, one vertebra, and several “mystery bones”, but right now I don’t think any of them are associated.

We also removed a number of smaller specimens. Christina found this nice thoracic vertebra:

Brett found this small, delicate ray tail spine:

And for all you shark tooth fans, we recovered quite a few good teeth today, including this specimen of Isurus found by Jordan:

The weather is supposed to turn bad on us tomorrow afternoon and Thursday, so it’s going to be a little tricky getting everything removed by this weekend (my students are all on Spring Break, which is how they can spend their time at the quarry). Since they all have to be back in class by Monday, I’m hopeful that we can wrap up by Sunday.

This entry was posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church odontocetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carmel Church Day 2

  1. Doug says:

    that tail spine is awesome!

  2. George says:

    I collected there a number of years ago first with Buck and Nick. one question is the idea of wet screening the sediments through different mesh screens for the micros. I imagine there would be a neat fauna worth exploring.

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