2015 FIELD NOTES

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October 3, 2015, Saturday.
           I took John-Henry Voss and Clark Hilliard to MOTT VPL 0690. It was nice and cool with a slight mist. J-H headed for Site 33 while Clark and I headed east. I found a metoposaur clavicle, shortly after that J-H showed up having no luck with Site 33. We worked by Site 11 on our way to Site 10. On the north side of Site 10, I found several paracrocodylomorph teeth. We then went over the ridge and I showed J-H where Site 33 was. There were a few small teeth there and then I found a section of a phytosaur skull and the posterior half of a large phytosaur jaw. We uncovered it and then returned to the truck. After lunch we went to recover the clavicle. While I was collecting it, John-Henry found the top of a phytosaur skull. We collected it and then took the truck and drove around north of Site 33. At Site 33 we covered the jaw with Tyvec and buried it so we can recover it in January. On our way back to the truck I found a Desmatosuchus lateral osteoderm and then a metoposaur dentary. After recovering those two elements we returned to Lubbock.

September 20, 2015, Saturday.
           I took John-Henry down to MOTT VPL 3869 so he could photograph details of one of his possible stream channels for his thesis. I collected a dentary of one of the new Trilophosaurus taxa. I also collected a small Malerisaurus femur. We collected a few other minor elements before returning to Lubbock

June 20, 2015, Saturday.
           I took John-Henry down to MOTT VPL 3956 so he could check out one of his possible stream channels. It wasn't. We then went to MOTT VPL 3867. We found a large metoposaur vertebra and a Doswellia osteoderm. Then we went to 3873 where I found another large metoposaur vertebra. Shortly we went to 3939. There we collected ten or twelve large metoposaur vertebra including John-Henry's atlas vertebra. I collected a massive metoposaur skull fragment that Zujjaj found on the previous visit. We then went to MOTT VPL 3869. There we collected a variety of small archosauromorph fragmentary bones then we returned to Lubbock.

Doswellia osteoderm from the Dockum Group of Texas

Doswellia osteoderm


June 12, 2015, Friday.
           I took John-Henry down to MOTT VPL 3869 so he could examine the excised stream channel at my locality. We had a good day in the field collecting in the Tecovas Formation. I found a Trilophosaurus maxilla, a dentary, and a femur. I collected several Malerisaurus femora, a few phytosaur teeth, and archosauromorph vertebrae, phalanges, and unguals. It misted on us the entire time we were in the field but that kept it nice and cool. John-Henry was pretty impressed with the Triassic stream channel. After a nice visit with the rancher and a good meal we returned to Lubbock.

Triassic archosauromorph Trilophosaurus maxilla from the Dockum Group of Texas

Trilophosaurus maxilla


April 25, 2015, Saturday.
           A long day in the field. We visited four localities. All of them involved quite a bit of hiking. Overall we found lots of fragmentary material: Osteichthyes skull fragments, metoposaur material, phytosaur material, aetosaur material, and rauisuchid material. I haven’t gone through all of Zujjaj's or John-Henry’s finds. I found some coelacanthid skull fragments and metoposaur vertebrae at the first site. J-H did find a section of a phytosaur surangular/angular at the third locality. There I found a Tecovasuchus paramedian osteoderm, a Postosuchus quadrate, and a small (~67cm) phytosaur skull. We did not attempt to recover the entire skull today. I am hoping it will be complete. The skull was upside down with the premaxilla slightly displaced by erosion. The palate, occipital condyle, and the quadrates were in place; therefore, I hope the entire top of the skull is intact. We did collect the premaxilla that was already displaced. What is visible is small and moderately gracile.

Phytosaur skull in the Tecovas Formation, Dockum Group, Triassic, Texas

 

 


April 4, 2015, Saturday.
           John-Henry and I went down to MOTT VPL 3629 and 3632. We collected some "Otischalkia" vertebrae, astragali, and other bones. We collected some of the new large bivalves also.   At MOTT VPL 3632 we collected some more of the huge (> 18 cm) bivalves. Some of these have a shell thickness of over 17 mm. John-Henry got to examine an excised stream channel that I showed him on Google Earth. I am planning on taking all next week off to work on my dissertation.

Otischalkia bones

Otischalkia bones


March 22, 2015, Sunday.
            Just returned from a weekend trip to Tucumcari, New Mexico to spend some time with Gretchen Gürtler. Visited with Axel Hungerbühler at the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and looked at some of the new specimens they have prepared. Some interesting material.  

Tucumcari Mountain

Tucumcari Mountain

March 14, 2015, Saturday.
            I picked up John-Henry and Zujjaj early and we headed for MOTT VPL 0690. The first site we went to was where the landowner had reported some bone weathering out of a bank. It turned out that it was part of the mandible with teeth of a mammoth. Part of the material is shown in the top photo. It was in very poor condition. We continued prospecting the area, finding bits and pieces of the usual suspects. 
           We stopped at the sight where Gretchen Gürtler found a phytosaur mandible and John-Henry had collected a phytosaur premaxilla. I collected a few phytosaur fragments and then some small teeth. John-Henry made the find of the day with a Colognathus obscurus jaw. He was pretty happy with that since there are only about 30 teeth/jaw sections known. The Colognathus jaw is shown in the lower image just above the Mercury dime. The other teeth are small, unidentified taxa.
           A while later we headed back to Lubbock. 

Mammoth jaw fragments and toothMammoth bones

Colognathus jaw and some small teethColognathus jaw


March 13, 2015, Friday.
            It was the second time in a week that I got to visit with Kate Zeigler. She visited last week on her way to Waco and came back through today on her way back to New Mexico. I gave her a tour of our Paleo collections and showed her some of our interesting specimens that I thought she might find interesting.  
 

January 9, 2015, Friday
           I ventured to the Petroleum Museum yesterday to participate in their quarterly science program. The program was "Dinosaurs". I carried some casts from the museum and I also carried some specimens from my personal teaching collection so that the kids could actually handle the specimens. I got to have a short visit with one of my ex-students, Mars Diaz. It was nice to see her again. The evening was a success in my opinion, even with the cold, windy, miserable weather with a little over 800 people attending.
 
discussing dinosaurs
Discussing dinosaurs

January 4, 2015, Sunday.
            The last two months of 2014 were busy. Accessions, Deeds of Gift, writing policy and procedures, lab inspections, preparing for risk assesment, documenting exhibit construction, completing our 10 year comprehensive artifact inventory, photographing new acquisitions, images for research publications, working on manuscripts, throw in a little fossil preparation, identification, cataloging, and trying to find time to finish my dissertation. I know everyone is just about as busy as I am. It looks like 2015 is going to be very, very busy. 
            I took off Christmas break to go visit my brother and sister's families. The drive to Port Aransas and back was harrowing with freezing rain when I left and heavy ice and snow on the way back. This was only the second Christmas break I have taken off work since 2003. In 2007, Gretchen Gürtler and I took off and spent four days together in Big Bend. Since then, it has just been work over the holidays.
            It is back to the "dungeon" in the morning. 
 
ice on trees
Ice on trees

Another trip around the sun
Starting another trip around the sun.

Go to:
(2003-2005 Field Notes)     (2006 Field Notes)     (2007 Field Notes)     (2008 Field Notes)     (2009 Field Notes)
(2010 Field Notes)     (2011 Field Notes)     (2012 Field Notes)     (2013 Field Notes)     (2014 Field Notes)     (2016 Field Notes)     (2017 Field Notes)


ALL TEXT AND IMAGES © 2015 BILL MUELLER