Solite Excavation: Day 10


Day 10 of our excavation at Solite Quarry was all about Tanytrachelos, a small aquatic reptile from the Triassic. Much of the area we were excavating involved shale within ~2-3 inches from the top of the insect bed. It was within this range that many of the Tanytrachelos specimens were found. We collected at least 12 Tanytrachelos individuals including the one above that Ray Vodden found. Below are a couple other Tanys that we collected.

Me Ray and Tany - Kals (1)

Tany 3 (1)

Tany 1 (1)

Usually, while I am collecting the insect layer, I check random pieces to see if there are any quickly recognizable insects. As luck would have it, I spotted the abdomens of two small water bug nymphs on the same piece of shale. In the second image, there may be the distal part of a leg of a larger water bug nymph or an adult.

Water bug nymph 2

Water bug nymph and partial leg (1)

And now for the mystery pieces:

Mystery 1 (plant?)

Mystery 1 (1)

Mystery 2

jellyfish? seed?

Thanks to the continuous support of VMNH staff and various volunteers over the last several weeks, we are at a point in the excavation where we can collect insect bed more rapidly. On this tenth day of excavation, we collected ~9 cubic feet of insect bed.

Group pic_Kals_10-18-14 (1)

This entry was posted in Invertebrate Paleontology, Newark Supergroup, Vertebrate Paleontology. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Solite Excavation: Day 10

  1. Nick says:

    Nice tanys! Definitely worth taking a very close look at the first two you have pictured – could be good details of the cranial elements int he first and the second looks like it has gut contents??

  2. altondooley says:

    Actually, Nick, I wonder if both of those Tanys could have gut contents. The top one has a mass of black material in the back half of the thoracic region too.

    Interesting that none of these Tanys appear to have heterotopic bones.

  3. Nick says:

    Indeed that could well be true. Maybe they died out because one sex didn’t eat!!

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