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Live from the Middle of Nowhere

May 15, 2013

Today was a successful day at the Placerias Quarry! The weather was perfect, the  company pleasurable, and the bones plentiful. We arrived on site and began work around  7:30am, working through the morning until lunch at noon. We returned to work and finished out the day, packing up the van to head back into town around 4:30pm.

Arizona landscape

Arizona landscape

The field crew is working in a designated 9 meter x 3 meter grid. This area is divided into sections and each section is given a unique number for data purposes. Each crew member is then assigned a unique workspace within the grid. Every fossil found must be accounted for and its location within the quarry recorded. This grid is essential for keeping work within the quarry organized.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences field crew

NC Museum of Natural Sciences field crew

Over the course of the day, our team recovered a number of fossils. The majority of the fossils found were vertebrae, the bone segments making up the spinal cord. Some were found in a mass together while others were scattered throughout the site. Several large limb bones were also recovered. Coprolites — fossilized poop — were abundant, as were bone fragments.

End of two limb bones

End of two limb bones

Vertebra

Vertebra

When you are out in the middle of nowhere, anything can happen and today we had a special visitor (featured below). This curious horse decided to check out our progress, although he did not contribute much to the effort (other than being a cute distraction for a moment or two)! All in all, it was a good day and we hope for productive day tomorrow as well!

New friend - a horse!

New friend

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy permalink
    May 15, 2013 11:34 am

    Wish I was there with you. Looks like you are working hard. Pictures of the large bones are incredible. Thanks for the update.

  2. Terry Denny permalink
    May 21, 2013 4:26 pm

    I am enjoying reading about your progress! Hope this summer I can help clean up things you bring back while school is out!

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