Forum Replies Created
March 26, 2018 at 11:20 pm #33988
Hi Gail! Thanks for the heads up. Cool specimen, but I suspect it’s a limestone concretion of some sort. Not a vertebrate specimen unfortunately, so no mosasaurs yet! LOL! The weird weathering pattern on the surface suggests there are fossils in it. Looks like corals again or possibly crinoids. Paleozoic most likely… brought in by the glaciers. I’d be interested in hearing the opinions of everyone else though!
Looks solid enough to remove and at least see what is on the other side. If you do decide to move it, please post some more pics. Gotta love a good mystery!
PS: I attached a more detailed SD geologic map for your records just in case you didn’t have it yet.February 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm #30650
Digitization is essential! It’s a great way to share information with other researchers. We just launched a new site of our own, for our private collection. This took about 4 months of work, but only around $2,000 in funds. Here it is. Hope you like it:December 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm #29619
Hey Lisa! That would be wonderful. I’ve been working on this since the Spring, and should get all my data compiled by January 15th. I meant to post this on here earlier, but a million things always came up. Thanks!December 12, 2017 at 11:05 am #29615
The biggest and best find of the summer was the new Triceratops skeleton. The most scientifically important find was an Alvarezsaurid claw from the Hell Creek. Alvarezsaurids are not supposed to be in the Hell Creek, so that is likely to be an undescribed, new genus and species.December 6, 2017 at 11:23 pm #29549
Here are a few more pics. I think we took like 3,000+ photos this summer.February 8, 2017 at 8:38 am #18669
Hunter @hunter-thurmond –
I know what you mean. It’s very easy to walk away from some sites with too much stuff. When I was in college, I had a tendency to collect every little scrap I found. After several years of field trips, I had buckets worth of invertebrates that I had no real use for that took up lots of space. Now, I’ve become very selective in what I keep and what I leave in situ for others. When it comes to inverts, I keep a personal “research set” that I use to help make identifications. Particularly useful with ammonites which can be used for biostratigraphy.
With vertebrates, however, its very important to leave some material in the field and often a bad idea to collect every scrap during surface collection. As a skeleton or bone bed begins to weather out, it produces an awful lot of bone fragments that we call “float trails”. If I find a float trail and chase it up hill, but can not find where the source layer is, I try to leave the trail untouched, except for a few diagnostic pieces I can use to help ID the specimen or name the site. Further erosion of the site in the future may eventually reveal where the specimen is coming from, so best to leave the rest of the scraps in place. This makes it easier to relocate the spot and try to find the source again. At other sites that are clearly scientifically important, I do try to collect as much as possible, because every microfossil/fragment might be a clue to what is going on and leaving it out to weather away would be a waste. The fragments that do not have much value after evaluation, can then be given away to kids and guests to help get them interested in the science. So, it depends on the site and type of fossils you are working on.
In the case of invertebrates from sites that are extensive, its best to be very selective. Better to have three nice trilobites or shark teeth then a bucket of subpar ones. Just my opinion. Good luck!November 8, 2016 at 8:45 am #15604
All very impressive methods for labeling, curating and storing fossil collections! Nice! Thanks all for posting your techniques. I’ve used the paper label methods in the past with mixed success. Since we deal mostly with larger vertebrates, I have tended towards Ronny’s method of white out with a fine felt tip pen painted right onto the specimen. These seem to last the longest and when drawn on using the fine pen and a magnification visor you can write very small and neat. The label can be removed easily with a little light abrasion (30 psi) from a Comco micro abrasion unit. For smaller specimens we encase in riker mounts when possible. Microfossils are bagged (labeled with a sharpie) and stored in plastic containers with site information.
All of our fossils are given a field number that begins with a two to four letter site designation (TD- stands for the Tooth Draw Site, ENS- Stands for Enigma Site, etc. etc.) , followed by a two digit number that refers to the year of collection (16= collected in 2016), followed by a 3-4 digit number representing the sequential order of collection. These, including site descriptions and locality data, are all logged into a field book and then later digitized into a PDF which can be printed and stored (though I am admittedly about 2 field seasons behind in digitizing these- very time consuming).
We do not have the funding for some of the larger museum sized curation cabinets, so we went with the next best thing… large metal mechanics tool storage boxes obtained from Home Depot. They are cheaper, can hold hundreds of small-medium specimens, are padded, and can be locked for safe keeping. See photos… best wishes!November 8, 2016 at 8:14 am #15603
Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been on vacation and I’m just now catching up with emails and posts. Sorry I missed that last webinar. Busy busy. I’ve gone back and watched the first part. I’ll finish later this week. To answer your questions… no, I do not do a lot of bulk sampling for invertebrates out my way. It’s mostly single specimen sites, salvage or regional orientation surveys with vertebrates. If we find any inverts its usually associated with a single specimen vertebrate and they are retained in the microfossil collection for that specimen. In a terrestrial fluvial system there is usually not much. So can’t help much with that. We collected a plesiosaur skeleton back in 2007 that was buried in a shallow marine shoal deposit. We collected many invertebrates in this case, but this was to simply determine strata and paleoenvironment- not to answer bigger questions that would involve thousands of inverts.October 12, 2016 at 11:52 pm #13684
Hey Lisa and everyone on MyFossil! I’ve been out in the field since June 1st, and just got back last week. Unfortunately, I missed the first two webinars but will try to attend the next two, which sound very interesting and informative. Our summer excavations were very successful with lots of cool and important discoveries. We found several new localities on ranches in MT and SD as well as continued work on our main digs. I hope to have a couple papers out in the Spring (though I’m way behind schedule!).
I suppose there are lots of different “types” of excavations and these all depend upon the type of fossils being collected, the preservation of the material, the research questions that are being asked, and the methodologies used to extract the fossils and the data. Some types might include: “Bulk Sampling” for invertebrates where large volumes of fossils might need to be collected to answer “big picture” kinds of questions, ” “Salvage Excavations” over threatened sites or construction projects where time is of the essence, “Single Specimen” sites, “Bone Bed excavations”, “Mass Mortality Excavations”, “Regional Surveys”, etc.
I’m looking forward to Dava’s webinar!July 2, 2016 at 8:38 am #6398
Wow that is a weird one! Sorry for the delayed response. I am in the field, busy busy, and had difficulty with my password and resetting my password to get onto the site. My first reaction is that it is not a dinosaur and not an ungual. I suspect that it might be a worn vertebra missing the neural arch. Not sure on species yet, but its size and shape are not consistant with a young hadrosaur ungual. Lookis like a reptilian centra except for the “anterior” end. I have a couple days off around the 4th and can look into it further then. Love a good mystery!!!May 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm #4905
Hey Lisa! Western SD isn’t much different than eastern MT. I didn’t know you went to Montana State. I love it out there too. My field season is about to start. We have a few more things to clear up here, then we are off to SD in about 2 weeks. I am usually out there by now, but so much still to do here in FL. You will have to come out for a visit next time you head west.
In the 5th picture you can see the remains of a dry screen “sluice” if you will. This was originally constructed by the landowner twenty years ago when they discovered the deposit and began doing some digging. We used it for the first couple years as a stand for our dry screening boxes, but now we have moved further into the hill and use a different dry screen technique so do not use it much anymore. It basically marks the position of the quarry when we started 10 years ago. Yes… this is me logging and mapping the specimens. We have recovered well over 2ooo bones,microfossils and teeth from the small area. Much of them theropod teeth.. hence the name “Tooth Draw Quarry”.May 15, 2016 at 1:29 am #4773