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Wednesday, March 21.
We were not in the field today, but working in the collections. A student from Mesalands Dinosaur Museum, Daniel Holquin, was examining our Shuvosaurus material and comparing it to ours. Axel Hungerbühler and I were working out the details on some of our phytosaur material. We are finally getting around to finishing the description of "Grey Guy", a basal phytosaur from low in the Tecovas Formation of the Dockum Group. We are also going to work on describing some of our phytosaur mandibles, including the long (111.6 cm), very gracile phytosaur mandible Gretchen Gürtler found (Dec. 31,2008). Gretchen's mandible has about 6 cm of the tip of the dentary missing.
Now I have to refresh my memory on all of my notes on phytosaurs.
Axel Hungerbühler and Daniel Holquin examining Shuvosaurus tibiae.
Sunday, March 4.
Saturday was a beautiful spring day to have been in the field; however, Megan had a prior commitment. So we headed for MOTT VPL 3869 (Triassic: Dockum Group: Tecovas Formation) this morning. We haven't visited the site since last July when I led the TTU Clark Scholars to the site.
The morning was very nice , with a slight breeze blowing. Along with collecting, I was filming some of Megan's activites for use by the Student Association. She had been videoed by another student in the Paleo collections and prep lab on Friday. Today's videos were to augment that.
At Site I we found mostly Trilophosaurus vertebrae. We worked our way over to Site VI and collected a phytosaur vertebra. Then Megan found a mostly complete metoposaur interclavicle. I shot some video of extracting it and then went to Site II to check on the partial skeleton I had buried for future excavation. It was in good shape. I then visited several other sites collecting more Trilophosaurus material and some Malerisaurus elements.
When Megan finished removing the interclavicle, we went to Site V where we collected a sub-adult phytosaur femur. We then checked out a number of other sites but found only bone fragments and a few metoposaur vertebrae. On the way back to Lubbock, I showed Megan where several other localities were. She had been working on material in our collection from these localities and I wanted to give her a visual context of the localities.
Megan collecting her metoposaur interclavicle
Malerisaurus proximal femur
Megan collecting a sub-adult phytosaur femur
It was a cold and blustery day as Megan Ostrenga, Mykel Wade, and I made a leisurely start to the field to collect. It was the first time for either of the young women to endure going to the field with me and had to endure my incessant questions of "what is this" as I hand them bone elements.
Mykel is starting a practicum working on the Stagonolepididae specimens in our collection. This trip gave her an opportunity to see where some of the material was collected and possibly find some herself.
Right after we arrived I shot a photo of the two of them with part of a mammoth jaw. They were pretty excited about that. We continued with our prospecting and they collected a few teeth, coprolites, and osteoderms. We didn't find anything major today. We did find several elements of un-named taxa, but nothing major.
It was a beautiful afternoon in the field. We stopped by and visited with the landowners and an ajoining rancher on our way back to Lubbock. It was nice to be back doing fieldwork again. Here is to many more trips to the field this year (toast).
The obligatory tooth and coprolite photo
An osteoderm Megan found.
Life is just a Jimmy Buffett song. Every day is a revolution .......... one more candle and a trip around the sun. Changes in latitude, changes in attitude, nothing remains the same.
I am grateful for that as the past 15 monsths have very trying, but now with me back to 100%, I expect 2018 to be a fantastic year. As soon as we get some decent weather after January 7, I want to be in the field collecting.