Solite Excavation: Day 11

Group with backhoe 102514

Today’s blog is dedicated to the foreman of the quarry, Scott Traenkner. Scott has been supportive of our excavation since the start and offered his skills should we need them. On day 11 of our excavation, we were able to take Scott up on his offer in a big way. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

Posted in Invertebrate Paleontology, Newark Supergroup, Vertebrate Paleontology | 3 Comments

SeAVP Day 2, Museum Hopping, and National Fossil Day!

Panorama Smith Cty Lime Pit

Day 2 of SeAVP: Field trip day!

Kat Turk, former VMNH intern, and I attended the field trip to Smith County Lime Pit, Sylvarena, MS. This quarry containing 4 Oligocene formations: Marianna, Byram, Glendon, and Bucatunna. The majority of the fossils we found are from the Glendon Formation. Continue reading

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7th Annual Meeting of SeAVP Day 1

MMNS fossil exhibit

Today marked the first day of the 7th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Vertebrate Paleontology (SeAVP). This year’s meeting is being held at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) in Jackson, MS. Continue reading

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Solite Excavation: Day 9

Group photo 10-4-14We are at a point with the excavation where we are making steady progress in collecting the insect bed each week. With a crew of 2 volunteers and 5 VMNH staff, we collected another ~5 cubic feet of insect bed and made good progress on uncovering more.  Continue reading

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Fossil Friday: SOVA Career Expo – Youth Expo

Stream table

During the last two days, the Ray and I represented the VMNH at the SOVA Career Expo for Youth in Chatham, VA. The Career Expo was an opportunity for us to share with middle schoolers and high schoolers the variety of work that is conducted within the museum.  We showcased some of our casts including the full skeleton cast of Castoroides, Isotelus (trilobite), the reconstructed skull of a juvenile Diorocetus,  a Tanytrachelos, and the skull of an Allosaurus. We also gave molding and casting demonstrations and explained the uses of a stream table. Continue reading

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Solite Excavation: Day 8

Tany and plant frags 9-27-14

Day 8 of the excavation at Solite treated us to a number of Tanytrachelos specimens in varying conditions of preservation. Continue reading

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