Utah 2016 week 1

This year’s Utah field season started out a little simpler than normal. We typically run 4 quarries simultaneously; however, this year we have only two main excavation sites: MiniTroll and Last Chance.  I stumbled upon Last Chance in the last couple of days of the 2015 field season and was able to collect some tail vertebrae and a bit of the foot before closing down for the season. Anxious to return and see if more of this little guy awaited inside the hill, it was a very long year until we arrived last week to open the quarry. Small dinosaur remains are rare generally, so any bits of this critter are worth going after tour de force.

The first day we opened a 12 foot wide quarry but in the days since it’s obvious that all the bone is in a narrow 18 inch strip heading diagonally into the hill. Excavation is therefore slow, as only two people can crowd into the bone horizon. Still, more of the tail and spine have turned up and things look good for more bone this week. Fingers crossed.

MiniTroll is now a decent sized quarry and more vertebrae from the spine have turned up. We are hoping to have all the bone removed in the next couple of days and close down the site soon. MiniTroll may turn out to be one of the most complete skeletons we have excavated here. Only time and more prep will tell.

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