Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wapiti River fieldwork, part 1

Hi everyone! It's been a while since my last post as I catch up on research and get ready for a brief stint of fieldwork in Grande Prairie. I've been working at the Wapiti River bonebed for the last few days, where we are excavating a Pachyrhinosaurus bonebed. Here is a quick update of what we've been up to.

The bonebed is on a steep river side, and we have cut a long but narrow ledge into the cliff. The view is quite spectacular and we occasionally see deer and bears on the other side of the river. 




Ropes are helpful for getting up and down the steep cliff!




The bonebed includes two distinct preservational types - hard bones that separate well from twisty shaley mudstones, and hard, hard nodules containing mostly skull bones. You can see the skull nodules below Angelica, as she works in the mudstone layer.




It can be rather goopy in the quarry and the bones are often cracked with mud in between the pieces, so we often map the bone and then remove it completely to clean and glue before we jacket for transport. The bones look quite good once they are clean and put back together! I am pointing at a skull element I found on my first day here.


More to come soon!

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