We had another beautiful day for digging today, and made a lot of progress removing sediment. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated into lots of bone. What we have been finding are lots of big rocks.
This photo is looking east along our pit:
And here’s the same photo with the large rocks marked in red:
The most distant rock, at the top of image, is the one we found last November, and is almost a meter across. The one in the foreground (at the bottom) is almost as wide, but not as thick. Almost all of these rocks are as large or larger than any we’ve pulled out anywhere else in the bonebed. There are so many rocks that there’s not a lot of room left over for bones.
That’s not to say that we haven’t found any bones. For example, Laura found this apparent partial squamosal, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be associated with any other cranial material:
The flat area on the center right is, I believe, the groove for the posterior process of the petrosal. If I’m correct, this is a very small squamosal, on the same order of size as “Buttercup“.
We have also uncovered quite a lot of bone near the original rock:
Here’s a marked-up version, with the bones indicated:
The bone marked in blue is probably a lower jaw, although it could be a huge Eobalaenoptera-size rib. The yellow one seems to be part of a small rib, while the mass in red is as yet unidentified. Note to how the bones wrap around and partially sit on top of the boulder, confirming that the boulder really is in place in the Calvert Formation and was not placed there by quarrying operations.
There is a chance of thunderstorms tomorrow, but we’re hoping to put in another full day.