Carmel Church Day 4

With Thursday’s heavy rain behind us, we were able to get back into the site this morning. Things were about as bad as I had feared, with a lot of mud slopped into the pit in spite of the tarps that we put down on Wednesday. But with a lot of shoveling we were able to get the mud cleared from the pit before lunch. Even VMNH director Joe Keiper grabbed a shovel and jumped in:

Even with the mud we managed to find some pretty good specimens today, with Joe finding this terminal whale caudal vertebra:

Undoubtedly the biggest find was this probable land mammal bone:

John actually found this bone at the end of the day on Wednesday. With the sun setting I wasn’t able to look at it closely, but even then I thought it was rather unusual. By this afternoon I was able to remove it for a better look. I believe it’s the distal end of a humerus or perhaps an ulna (I didn’t bring any references with me). If I’m correct, it’s larger than most of the Carmel Church land mammals we’ve found thus far. Anyone reading that’s more familiar than I am with land mammals is welcome to attempt an identification in the comments!

By the end of the day we had two small jackets almost ready for plastering; we should be able to start the jackets first thing in the morning. With a little luck, we should finish this pit tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning.

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

3 Responses to Carmel Church Day 4

  1. Doug says:

    I am obviously not an expert, and without multiple views or knowing the size, i cannot say this with any certainty but…

    Based on what appears to be a break on the top, i would say this is a humerus. Of course i’m probably wrong.

  2. Tony Edger says:

    I’m curious about the references you might consult in trying to identify this bone. Which ones would be the first you’d turn to?

  3. Alton Dooley says:

    I’ll start with some archaeology references (can’t think of the titles off the top of my head, they’re back at the office). They have a number of good guides for identifying scraps of bone. My specimen won’t be any of those specific critters, but it should get me in the ballpark (order, say). I only need this step because I don’t work on land mammals very often so I’m not as familiar with them as I should be.

    Once I narrow down, I’ll look for specific references on those groups, especially for Miocene examples.

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