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December 31, 2014, Wednesday.
            It is the first time I have been to Port Aransas in decades. We used to spend a lot of time here. The drive down was harrowing with the freezing rain. It was a very good trip and I enjoyed spending time with family and eating good food. I am looking forward to returning later in the spring.
Gulls near the bird sanctuary

September 30, 2014, Tuesday.
            We have been getting quite a bit of rain in September. It was a beautiful sunrise this morning as I headed to my research area (Triassic, Dockum Group, Tecovas Formation) to get some fresh images for my dissertation defense. I went today because they forecast more rain later in the week. Just after I got to my research area, what did it do .... rained. But that didn't stop me and it didn't rain much.
           I was going to one of my plant sites. When I reached the edge of the site, I found a dicynodont vertebra. Then I found what remained of a second about 20 cm away. Then about 50 cm away was another bone. I will reserve its identification until some prep work is done. For all the rain we have had, I found less material than I expected. At Site I, I found a number of small vertebrae, some limb bone ends, a few teeth, and a Trilophosaurus ilium. I worked my way on around the margin of the locality finding a little material along the way. 
            At Site V, I found more material. I found more small vertebrae and limb bone ends. I found two articulated metacarpals with a carpal (?). I also found a tiny procoelous vertebra from one of Momchil's taxa. It was about 4-5 mm long. 
First find of the day, a dicynodont vertebra
Dicynodont vertebra

Triassic Trilophosaurus ilium.
Trilophosaurus ilium

July 2, 2014, Wednesday.
            I went to the field today because it was supposed to be the coolest day this week and I needed to field check some facts for my dissertation again. It hadn't rained much since our last visit. However, I did find a few elements including the articulated archosauromorph cervical vertebrae seen a right. Probably won't be going to the field for a while as I am trying to get my dissertation finished. 

Articulated cervical vertebrae of a small archosauromorph from the Triassic Dockum Group Tecovas Formation of Texas
Archosauromorph verts

June 5, 2014, Thursday.
            Earlier in the week, a young boy brought in his newly found "dinosaur bone". I wasn't sure what to expect, but it turns out it was a bone. He was disappointed it wasn't a dinosaur bone. With a bit of research, it was determined that what he had was the proximal humerus of an Arctodus simus, giant short-faced bear. A very cool find.
humerus short-faced bear Arctodus simus
Arctodus simus

May 31, 2014, Saturday.
            John-Henry and I went to the field today because it was supposed to be the coolest day this week. The temperature only reached 94*F, but there was NO breeze. We didn't find anything spectacular: proximal phytosaur femur, an aetosaur ilium, and a couple of Calyptosuchus paramedian osteoderms. I collected some carbonized wood and some coprolites for analysis. 
aetosaur calyptosuchus paramedian osteoderms from the Triassic Tecovas
Calyptosuchus plate

recovering calyptosuchus osteoderms
Recovery mesh

May 13, 2014, Tuesday.
            I just returned from several days in Tucumcari, New Mexico. I was assisting Gretchen Gürtler and Axel Hungerbühler with their first summer field paleontology class of the summer, with McLennan Community College. I was in the field for the entire field class. We collected phytosaur teeth; aetosaur osteoderms and bones; shuvosauroid material; and other material that needs to be prepared to be identified. We collected some interesting material. The temperature was great for field work; however, a little less wind would have been appreciated. It was nice to see some of the familiar faces in the McLennan group and meet new students. Now it is back to the "dungeon".
Gretchen Gurtler talking about the Paracrocodylomorph Postosuchus at the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum, Tucumcari, New Mexico.
Gretchen Gürtler describing Postosuchus to a group of students.

April 19, 2014, Saturday.
            It was looking like a nice day for field work. Zujjaj Talpur, John-Henry Voss, and I headed for MOTT VPL 3867 to recover some material covered up in 2012. Upon arriving we parked on the eastern margin of the locality and dropped into the badlands. Zujjaj and John-Henry began excavating and trenching the Koskinonodon perfectus skull. While they were working on it, I headed southwest to collect some carbonized Triassic plant material. I then found the complete metoposaur palate, with the ventral portions of the maxilla and premaxilla. I reburied it for later recovery. After returning to the skull dig, I turned around and spotted a nearly complete metoposaurid interclavicle lying on the ground. Zujjaj and J-H jacketed the skull and J-H applied the "recovery mesh" to the interclavicle so we could recover it without a jacket.
            We went to MOTT VPL 3873 where I collected some more carbonized plant material. We found very little else there so we headed for MOTT VPL 3939.
            At 3939 we walked by the "exploded" phytosaur skull, found quite a few phytosaur teeth, and found abundant fragmentary metoposaur material. We didn't find anything diagnostic.
            We returned to 3867 to recover the fossils. While Zujjaj and J-H were preparing the material for extraction, I checked out the ravine about seven meters to the south. There I found part of a dicynodont squamosal. Back in 1999, I had found a large dicynodont scapula at 3867 and in 2009, Gretchen Gurtler collected part of a dicynodont humerus. After collecting our specimens, we headed back for Lubbock. It was a good day in the field.
Zujjaj Talpur and John-Henry Voss excavating a Koskinonodon skull.
John-Henry Voss and Zujjaj Talpur excavating a Koskinonodon skull..

A Triassic metoposaur, Koskinonodon, interclavicle from Texas
A metoposaur interclavicle

January 1, 2014, Wednesday.
            I have been spending most of my free time writing on my dissertation which I hope to finish this summer. 
Another trip around the sun
Starting another trip around the sun.


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