Wyoming Day 12

We set out this morning with our new, revised plan to remove the associated vertebrae we found yesterday. We were joined by Callan Bentley (above), a geologist from Northern Virginia Community College and author of the blog Mountain Beltway. Callan is on his way to Montana (you can follow his progress on Twitter @callanbentley), but spent the morning at Two Sisters, taking the opportunity to shoot some GigaPan images of the site:

It was a day for data collection for us as well. We needed to record the orientation of the long bones:

I’m trying a different note-taking technique this year, keeping all my field notes on my iPad:

So far the iPad is working out really well. I’m still working out kinks in the methodology, but there are huge advantages in being able to incorporate marked-up field photos directly into the notes, and being able to upload them every night so that there’s a saved copy. The marked-up images I’ve been posting this trip were all generated at the site on the iPad.

Even with the measuring and note taking, we still had digging and jacketing to do. Nancy, Linda, and Tim wedged into the pit together to jacket a small unidentified bone, which may either be a rib or a chevron:

Finally, late in the afternoon we were able to trench around our “tibia”. However, I’m not sure anymore that it really is a tibia. Given the flaring at the proximal end (on the right, below) and the flatness of the bone it looks more like a fibula (the other bone in the shin), or perhaps even an ischium (one of the hip bones):

At any rate, we were able to make a nice top jacket on whatever this bone is:

Tomorrow, we’ll try to flip this bone, which will give us much better access to the vertebrae (under the foil at the top of the image).


If you’ve been following our progress for the last week and a half, you may have noticed that we’ve had a much smaller crew the last few days. Our college contingent (Brooke, Mike, Matt, Nick, and Nathan) have been away at other sites most of the week, collecting Cretaceous plants in the Cloverly Formation. Their efforts have not been in vain, and they returned today with some outstanding fossil ginkgos:

Brooke is doing various studies on these specimens, which will eventually become part of the VMNH collection.

This entry was posted in Paleobotany, Wyoming Excavations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wyoming Day 12

  1. ScienceTim says:

    Looks like fun — good, productive, fun.

  2. Alton Dooley says:

    We’ve done pretty well the last two weeks, and it’s been a good time.

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