2016 FIELD NOTES

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Tuesday, November 1
            Just returned from the annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. I took off 10 days for the trip to do a little photography. It was nice to see a number of colleagues and visit about the research they were doing. From what I was told, my cf. Tanystropheus and new dicynodont were popular topics of discussion. The weather was much better than I expected. Now it is back to the grind and try to finish several manuscripts.

View of Canyonlands, Utah.

Canyonlands


Saturday, September 24
          Nice day in the field. Lars and I went to VPL 3869 where he found a Trilophosaurus mandible. We also collected elements from the usual suspects: metoposaurs, phytosaurs, and aetosaurs.
          We then went to meet the landowner at VPL 3874. About the time we were starting our survey, the landowner’s son, Sterling, arrived. Sterling started out finding a procolophonid femur and what (at this time, I need to prep it) appears to be the posterior portion of a small skull (procolophonid?). Sterling also added three Libognathus jaw sections to the collection. We also added some aetosaur paramedian fragments to the voucher specimens for this locality. Nice day in the field.


Trilophosaurus mandible from the Tecovas Formation, Dockum Group, West Texas.

Trilophosaurus jaw


Saturday, August 6
           John-Henry and I headed south to field check a couple of sites for his thesis research and to check on two of our regular localities (MOTT VPL 3629, 3632) that we hadn’t visited for about 18 months. It was a great day for wildlife. We saw numerous cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii) and jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) were everywhere, as were roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus). We even saw numerous turkey vultures (Cathartes aura). We also saw Sus scrofa and Odocoileus virginianus. Those were the most abundant taxa we saw but we also saw lots of other wildlife species.
          At the first fossil locality we didn’t find much….lots of scrappy bone fragments. I did collect one tibia at MOTT VPL 3629. We went to the clam sites at MOTT VPL 3629 but all that were exposed were more poorly preserved than what we have in our collections.
          At MOTT VPL 3632 we collected some of the “giant” clams. Fortunately, we were able to find several good sections of the hinge area of the clams.

Abnormally large Triassic freshwater clams

Large Triassic clams


Wednesday, July 27

           Gave a presentation on the paleontology of the Triassic Dockum Group at the Sibley Nature Center in Midland, Texas. Had a good group of very nice people attend. Enjoyed my visit with Michael Nickell, their Museum Scientist and Naturalist. Michael and I first met at Sul Ross State University  a long time ago. We reminisced quite a bit about our marine ecology class spending part of the summer on the west coast of Mexico diving in the Sea of Cortez. The focus of my study that summer was the echinoderms.

Smilosuchus skull at Sibley Nature Center

Smilosuchus


July 21, 2016, Thursday.
            I have been refining my presentation on the paleontology of the Triassic Dockum Group next Wednesday at the Sibley Nature Center in Midland.

July 9, 2016, Saturday.
            John-Henry and I led the "Clark Scholars" of TTU to MOTT VPL 0690. They were a good group of students and fortunately we didn't run into any rattlesnakes. Considering the amount of rain that had fallen since we were there in October, we found only a small amount of material. We found lots of coprolites, some phytosaur teeth, a couple of aetosaur paramedian osteoderms, and a couple of rauisuchid teeth, and one possible poposaurid tooth. We left the field about 1:00 when it started getting warm and the students were tiring. It only got up to about 105* F.

May 7, 2016, Saturday.
            It was "Dino Day" at the Museum of Texas Tech on Saturday. John-Henry, Kendra, and myself manned the "Dino Hall" answering questions, showing some of our material from the basement, and explaining part of the exhibits in the Dino Hall. It was a good crowd with about 2000 people attending.

Kendra and John-Henry at Dino Day

MOTTU Dino Day


March 30, 2016, Wednesday.
            It finally happened. I defended my dissertation and am now Dr. Bill Mueller. It took long enough but I am finally graduating from university for the last time.

April 22, 2016, Friday.
            I went down to check on some bones a contractor had uncovered on a ranch in Kent County. He had sent me photos and I was fairly certain of what he had found. I met him and we proceeded to the locality. He took me to where the bones were and as I suspected it was a series of bison vertebrae. It was too wet to do any excavating. After examining the area, I left and went by another locality to see what the 4” of rain that week may have uncovered.
           I was finding a small amount of material but nothing significant. Then at one of the sites I did find something interesting. It appears to be two small partial archosauromorph skeletons. Part of one is shown at right. I covered them for later recovery before I left.

Partial archosauromorph skeleton in the Tecovas Formation

Partial archosauromorph skeleton


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)     (2015FieldNotes)     (2017FieldNotes)



ALL TEXT AND IMAGES 2016 BILL MUELLER