We received some helping hands about half-way through our two-week dig in Arizona. Dr. Andy Heckert and a hard-working crew of undergraduate students from Appalachian State University made the cross-country trip to search for fossils. A total of 8 students with interests from sedimentology to paleontology began digging within 30 minutes of their arrival in the field!
The extra hands allowed us to cover more ground. This was great because we were able to open two additional dig sites alongside the original one we started at the beginning of the week! The last 5 days were spent digging for as many fossils that could be recovered.
This year was actually the 4th year that the NC Museum of Natural Sciences has returned to the Placerias Quarry site on a quest for Triassic remains. Each previous year proved fruitful and a decision was made to return for what other bones might be awaiting discovery. So far, this year seems to be one of the most productive years yet! With all the helping hands, we were able to discover and recover a very high volume of fossils. Currently, the team is hauling approximately 40 jackets back to the Museum. In fact, the van was loaded down to full capacity and there were still items left over and in need of transportation! The remaining jackets and fossils had to travel back with the ASU team.
All in all, this year was a great year! The materials must await prep in the lab before the most interesting finds during this field season adventure can truly be discovered! Please, stay tuned!