Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 9: The Last Hurrah

Yesterday, the team had a few more things to take care of at the site before heading out - and of course, they found something new. Here are a few more pictures from the last few hours of the dig.

Dr. Bakker, Johnny and Kathy work on finishing up - cleaning up the site, and making sure everything they leave behind is protected until the team can return.

Here, Kathy is "capping" the foam jackets of one of the Dimetrodon spines - this process keeps the bones protected and together for their journey to the Museum.

Johnny is working on excavating a new layer of bone, beneath the main Amy layer. Before they left, he managed to find one more Dimetrodon tooth.

There's a belief among paleontologists that you always find something cool on the last hour of the last day - when, of course, you don't have time to look any further. This time, it was a vertebra of a Labidosaurus - a stocky little Permian reptile that the team rarely encounters.

Seymour High School's Jacob and Tarrington also checked in with thoughts from their time with the dig team.

From Jacob:

"Our entire experience of digging on Wednesday and Saturday was awesome. On Wednesday, we found a lot of dimetrodon leg and rib pieces, and a lot of teeth. Also me and Tarrington established a new dig site. On Saturday we went and dug at the K2 site and found several teeth, along with a few Seymouria backbones. Then me and Tarrington went and prospected a new hillside and found a few bones and a massive vert. Also at K2 we found a couple of arthropod tracks.

After lunch we came back and helped map the terrain around K2. Then for the rest of the day, Ms. Beck, Tarrington and me prospected new sites. It was a really cool experience and I learned a lot from it that I will always remember."

From Tarrington:

"Saturday morning was fun, we found many things including lots of teeth. We also found what we thought was a piece of Indian pottery, but it turned out to be a huge vertebra. Saturday afternoon we learned lots about mapping the rock layers, and indentifiying the different bones."

His favorite experience on the dig was when he "found a rock that looked like a little bowl over by K2 and then we found out it was a vertebra."

They dug 'till the very last minute. Now the team's heading on out, from under gorgeous Texas skies - and they can't wait to get back to dig up even more Permian history.