Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 3

CCQ outcrop

My wish came true – the rain wasn’t as severe as I feared it would be! We were able to get into the pit and log about 6 hrs of work. Wednesday’s focus was on removing the Choptank Formation and finding the contact between it and the Calvert Formation. Also, this was the first day that I could see all of the pit area without the cover of snow.

After lunch, Travis continued to work on taking down the Choptank Formation while Catie and I focused on excavating a small patch of exposed Calvert Formation. One area in particular caught my eye. There I found two vertebrae: one small thoracic vertebra from a cetacean (pictured below) and a seemingly flattened fish vertebra.

Thoracic vert

A brief prospecting trip along the outcrop produced a couple interesting fossils as well including this turtle shell fragment….

turtle scute visceral

…and this mystery bone. It has a distinctive morphology and appears to be mostly complete. The left portion of the fossil that is visible in the image below might be a point of articulation but more preparation is needed to clearly see all the possible articulation facets though.

mystery bone

Wednesday however ended up being the calm before the snow storm. For on Thursday we had the pleasure of watching as ~3 inches of snow built up on the hotel lawn.

Snow Daygrr

Here’s hoping that the warmer temperatures this weekend will clear out the snow so we can get back into the pit soon!

This entry was posted in Carmel Church Quarry, Carmel Church reptiles, Chesapeake Group, Vertebrate Paleontology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carmel Church Quarry 2015 Day 3

  1. George says:

    Has any one screen washed the Choptank sediments through window screen to see if any micro vertebrates exist. The Choptank formation deposits in Calvert County MD, have produced a number of shark teeth and isolated ray and bony fish plates, teeth and other elements. Suggest the screening should be done with freshly dug Choptank sediment rather than the oxidized materials. I forgot to click a button after yesterdays posting, the small specimen with the lines identified as a croc tooth looks like an abraded caudal barb of a ray (could be Calvert or reworked Nanjemoy). Another possibility is that the specimen may be a fragment of Cyllindracanthus rostrum which is well represented in the Nanjemoy formation group (lower Eocene) and other East Coast Eocene sediments.

  2. Hello George,
    Sorry for the delay in response. To my knowledge, I do not think so. Butch would know the answer to that question though. And if I recall correctly, I think fossils have been found but they are rare. However, I could be confusing this with the overlying St. Mary’s Formation. In regards to the identification of the “croc tooth,” I’m leaning away from a ray because the specimen is conical with no evidence of lateral rows that are more prominent that the rest of the striations. Someone else I showed it to suggested a fish tooth. I looked up Cylindracanthus and if the rostrum tends to taper to a point then that ID is a possibility.
    Thank you for continuing to read the blog!

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