Tag Archives: Cetaceans

Guest Blog: Courtland’s Summer Internship

My name is Courtland Lyle, and I am a rising senior at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I am pursuing a double major in both geology and biology and wish to study paleontology on a graduate level … Continue reading

Posted in Carmel Church Chondrichthyans, Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Vertebrate Paleontology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

First Yorktown whale jacket opened

This week we opened the first of 17 jackets from the Yorktown whale, which we’ve nicknamed “Cornwallis”. I had not planned to open any of these jackets until the fall, but it turns out we needed a large whale vertebra … Continue reading

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Reconstructing Buttercup, Part 1

One of the nice things about the discovery last year of the baby whale “Buttercup” is that we were able to determine that it belonged to the species Diorocetus hiatus. We also have another example of Diorocetus, “Sinistra“, which is … Continue reading

Posted in "Buttercup", Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group, Paleontological techniques | Tagged | 7 Comments

Introducing Buttercup

During last summer’s Carmel Church excavation we collected a left squamosal fragment from a small baleen whale, which included most of the petrosal (part of the ear); it was the only significant skull material we found on that excavation. Upon … Continue reading

Posted in "Buttercup", Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group | Tagged | 3 Comments

A squalodont at the Calvert Marine Museum

After finishing up at the Smithsonian, I made the short drive to Solomons, Maryland to visit the Calvert Marine Museum and their paleontology curator, Stephen Godfrey. Stephen and I have been planning to work on a particular project together for some … Continue reading

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Day 2 at the Smithsonian

Today was my second day at the Smithsonian’s Museum Support Center (MSC). It is hard to express just how vast the Smithsonian’s holdings are, even in natural history alone (remember that the natural history museum is just one branch of … Continue reading

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Smithsonian visit

I began a three-day visit to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History today. More specifically I spent most of the morning in “Building 26“, the warehouse in Maryland where many of the NMNH whales are housed. A huge … Continue reading

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Identifying homologies

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing some anatomical work on baleen whales, including the Lake Waccamaw Balaenula skull (above).  As part of this work I’ve been trying to identify various features of the skull and compare them to … Continue reading

Posted in "Caroline", Carmel Church mysticetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group, North Carolina Balaenula, Paleontological techniques | Tagged | 5 Comments

A few hours of cleaning…

One of the obstacles we face at Carmel Church is weathering. In Virginia’s wet and variable climate weathering rates are very high. Moreover, at Carmel Church the sediment chemistry is such that the sediment becomes very acidic when exposed to … Continue reading

Posted in Carmel Church odontocetes, Carmel Church Quarry, Chesapeake Group | Tagged | 4 Comments

Mysticete squamosal revisited

During our most recent Carmel Church excavation, we collected a squamosal (cheek and ear region) from a small baleen whale (above). Since returning to the museum I’ve had a chance to clean this specimen and compare it to other bones … Continue reading

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