Monday, September 3, 2012

Post-Summer Field Work: Brief Update

Greetings from the field! Although it is Labour Day, science doesn't get a day off...and who would want to take time away from Late Cretaceous dinosaurs?

I'll keep this post brief, mostly because there are no photos available as of yet. I misplaced my digital camera USB cord in the transition from the hadrosaur excavation and the track project. All of my bits of gear and keys should be attached to me like mittens on a string.

First, we are still waiting for helicopter support for airlifting the hadrosaur out of the quarry. The machines that can handle the weight of the block (between 1800-2200kg) are off fighting forest fires in northern BC and Alberta. We can wait. We have disguised the site in the event that we have to wait until next year for the airlift, but we have been assured that within the next two weeks the machines will be available. 

We have switched gears from osteology to ichnology and are documenting a Late Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) track site that was reported to us in 2011. The tracks have amazing preservation, including 3D digital casts and skin impressions. We usually do not plan any official field work after August as the weather in this part of the world can be a bit on the twitchy side, but for now the weather is cooperating. All of my shamanistic ceremonies and offerings to the non-gods are paying off. We should be done Phase 1 of the documentation in a week if we continue on our current schedule. Phase 2 will involve excavating more of the track surface, and we will have to leave that for a 2013 field adventure.

I'll keep you posted on the progress!



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