With cold weather closing in, we decided to wrap up our excavation today. That meant we had to remove a bit more material from the Buttercup Pit, including the Hemipristis tooth shown above.
The most exciting find today was yet another small odontocete vertebra, possibly the 10th from this individual. This one is a fairly posterior caudal vertebra, seen below in dorsal view with anterior to the left:
Here’s the same vertebra from the left side; it’s taller than it is wide:
The bone below looked like a small vertebral epiphysis while it was in the ground:
But when we removed it and cleaned other side we found a rib, showing that it’s part of a costal plate from the sea turtle Syllomus:
Once the weather improves we’ll be returning to Carmel Church. While we didn’t find a huge number of bones on this trip, it’s clear that there are still a lot of things about the geology and paleontology here that we don’t yet understand.