Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day 2: The Fin is In

Or should we say out?

This morning, the team headed out to the Aimee site, where they uncovered what looks to be an entire associated Dimetrodon skeleton. It started when Chris discovered the tip of a Dimetrodon fin spine on the surface, which led to an entire fin spine, which led to four more, and on and on and on...(video coming soon to a computer near you.)

At this stage, they've uncovered 5 full Dimetrodon fin spines (which supported this species' impressive fin); a vertebra that is attached to one of the fin spines; a series of Dimetrodon ribs; and a long, substantial and so-far unidentified bone. Tomorrow, they'll dig down from the upper surface and try to uncover more of this specimen, which Dr. Bakker said will likely be exhibition-quality.

The team works on multiple layers of the Amy site at once. Now, Kim knows "what it's like to feel the ground move underneath you."

They also excavated several other locations within the Aimee site; one with tiny fish scales and coprolites, and another with an enormous amount of Xenacanth cartilage, poison spines and teeth. With all this after this morning's surprising discovery about yesterday's finds, it was quite a day.

A piece of Xenacanthus coprolite found on the upper layer of the Amy site. This layer is proving to be riddled with shark bones, cartilage and coprolite.

An unidentified amphibian jaw (next to an unidentified vertebra, at right), found at a lowest level of the Aimee site.

A piece of Xenacanthus spine found on the surface of the Amy site.

A Dimetrodon claw found at the Aimee site.

Technical difficulties are keeping us from posting photos tonight, but check back tomorrow - we're hoping to upload the video of today's excavation, along with photos and more updates.

UPDATE - photos and captions inserted above. We're still working on video.

UPDATE: Good things come in small packages. In this video, Dave shows his excavation of a small site, just off the main Aimee layer, that is yielding fish scales and other small fossils, like coprolites.

UPDATE: On the first day of excavation at the Aimee site, Dr. Bakker knew the team was on to something. Seeing the video is even more exciting, knowing what we know now.

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