This week’s Solite excavation update is going to combine the findings from the last 3 days of excavation. The first two excavations (Jan. 10th and 17th) of the year focused on continuing to remove overburden from the outcrop. During these two trips, the crew found a variety of Tanytrachelos, fish, and plant fragments. I was not present during these two excavations so unfortunately I do not have pictures available to highlight the best of those days.
During the excavation on Jan. 31st, we had a new record for the number of Tanytrachelos specimens collected in one day: …14! While not all of them are as complete as the one pictured above, there were still several with either the anterior or posterior half preserved. One of the first Tanys that Kal (the primary finder of the Tanytrachelos) found was a disarticulated specimen scattered across an area of about 1 sq. ft.
Along either a similar or same plane, going west of the disarticulated Tany., Kal found two partial Tany. skeletons. He also found a third on a higher plane as he continued westward (to the right of the scale bar).
I focused on the insect bed. During the previous two excavation days, the crew made great progress on exposing the insect bed thereby making it possible for me to collect ~5 cubic feet of insect bed this week. As I collect the insect bed, I like to inspect random pieces and am sometimes rewarded with insect fragments such as the specimens below: 1st – a possible orthopteran (grasshopper relative) and 2nd – isolated wing with possible leg fragments overlying it. Scale bar = 5 mm