A favorite evening pastime around camp, hunting for scorpions with a black light. Apparently, my tent was a hot spot, much to my chagrin. Emily found a cutie inside her tent one morning (first time I’ve woken up to screaming at field camp) and another crawling up her chair a few days earlier. After week 2, the crew went a bit feral and it was scorpions for breakfast (sautéed with onions and peppers of course… what do you take us for?)
Yesterday the crew was tirelessly hunting for the source of the multiple exploded species on Suicide Hill. Here we found theropod bone, ornithischian bone, turtle and crocodile bone. We located bone in situ (in place in the ground) on all four sides of the hill. Khai Button (NCSU grad student) digs on the south side of Suicide Hill:
Susan Drymala (NCSU grad student) excavates the nicest bone on the east side of Suicide Hill, here is a neural arch (top part) of a vertebra:
We are headed back to the hill this morning to see if we can find additional sources for the bone fragments, clearly more than one individual from more than one bone layer is here. You might think that finding fossil bone in the Mussentuchit is the most difficult part of the job, but the truth is finding bone is easy, finding the bone layer where the bits of bone are eroding out of the hill can be near to impossible sometimes. Like finding a needle in a haystack!
On Sunday the crew closed down he remaining quarries, collected all the bone we had exposed and turned our eyes to bigger and better prizes. That’s right, we headed out for four days of prospecting for new sites. We had located a new area to hunt for bone before coming out and drove out to have a look. We found bone almost immediately.
Returning the next day for a full day of prospecting with the full crew broken into teams. I love prospecting days, the air is tense with the anticipation of a great find around any given corner. It keeps you going during long days of climbing up and down treacherous hills in the heat. Today I did not have to anticipate for long. After only an hour of hunting I found an iguanodontian skull, and a big sucker at that. I busied myself with stabilizing the find and then went to look for Khai. Passing over the hill above me it looked as though a host of Dino’s had blown themselves up all over,the hillside above me, in almost 360 degrees. Alas, Suicide Hill was discovered. Photos to come.
Lisa found a great new site today with loads of vertebrae and ribs, probably from Eolambia, a primitive duckbill dinosaur. I say great, because the exposed bone extends across a twelve foot swath the hill, so there is a lot of the skeleton in there.