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Found 6 results

  1. Permian Bones Galore...

    Hey gang, been a while since I got the chance to post- the Whiteside Museum is rockin and rollin- we've entertained nearly 9000 guests since our opening 18 months ago. Woohoo!! Field work has been non-stop. I am visiting 5 ranches on regular basis now- one ranch has 4 quarries all stratigraphicaly correlated with some of the greatest concentrations of the big-bodied amphibian Eryops- plus an overwhelming amount of disarticulated Edaphosaurus remains in the same bed. One of the photos shows a great Daphy rib lying on the bedding plane of an old swamp. Still prepping the Jody Diadectes skull- going to be one of the most complete on record. Sitting next to it in the massive block is a fantastic proximal caudal- and next to that as of noon, a beautiful Diadectes incisor, no doubt fallen from the skull. Anyhoo, if you haven't been to the museum, please come by and check out the exhibits and our new research lab. Cheers and happy digging, Chris https://www.flickr.com/photos/45026327@N05/albums/72157662658279792
  2. Well... It was another exciting week at the Whiteside Museum! We have been busy, busy, busy! Work on our Eryops jacket "Fred" is underway right smack dab in the middle of the museum for everyone to see. So exciting! There have been close to 100 Eryops teeth that we have pulled from the Eryops site. Each one has to be cleaned, numbered, and added to collections. We have been steady digging on our Dimetrodon Mary! The bone count is stellar! More than a dozen complete fin spines, C3 cervical, left and right hips, radius, fibula, left clavicle, three caudals, sacral rib, more than a dozen complete main torso ribs, left and right maxilla, left mandible, and as of this afternoon our director Chris Flis found Mary's beautiful tibia! Many patient hours are being spent on our Mary... Because the bone is so fragile most of Mary is having to be left in place and will be brought back to the museum in one GIANT jacket. However, there have been a few smaller jackets that we have been able to safely remove and bring back to the lab for prep. The bone is absolutely gorgeous! Some crazy weather rolled in this week at the museum. Nothing like a snow day this past Monday to help us get caught up a bit on prep work and collections! I am looking forward to going back next month. I'm so thrilled to be apart of all the incredible research and work that's going on at the Whiteside Museum! Truly fascinating! Best, Leigh
  3. Hey gang, Its been a while since I posted; museum here in Seymour is going great! 4000 visitors from june to December, so we're pretty pleased. Meanwhile I have been digging like mad every day on five new bone beds. I'm starting to stretch thin on 4 ranches with incredible vertebrate assemblages of both Arroyo formation and the older Clyde formation of the Permian. The Eryops beds have given up two enormous Eryops skulls- I LOVE Eryops. He's the last of the big-bodied amphibians. We won't see frogs for another 40 million years or so. Fred the Eryops has a great skull, complete upper skull and both lower jaws with GREAT teeth and palatal fangs. Charlie is the other Eryops skull, so far we have a MASSIVE lower jaw that pretty much Dwarfs Fred. Scary. snarge your drawers scary... The Eryops beds are pretty fantastic; they extend for nearly 300 yards. It is one massive pond system with wonderful layers of silt. Each layer preserves a chapter in the ponds history. The top is a massive sandstone layer, a remnant of flowing water. Then the water stopped moving and we see very thick silty mud beds, full of preserved fish, sharks teeth, millions of isolated fish scales- and the important thing: Huge eryops and chewed up Edaphosaurs. Finally have proof that the daphys were living near the Eryops. Eryops had no problem munching on the rotting carcasses of Daphys. One of the other ranches is the Clyde formation, older than the Arroyo. There we see another pond system that contains an underlying gravel bar, mostly dime size cobbles of permian carbonate. In the mix is a ton of amphibian remains; mostly the boomerang head Diplocaulus. But were also seeing, SEYMOURIA!!! WOOOOOHOOOOO!!! The elusive link between reptiles and amphibians. Granted I have just a few vertebrae, but thats more than I've seen in a few years. Just above the conglomerate is the bottom of the pond, full of plants. Beautiful plants that settled to the bottom and never moved again. Love that quiet water, preserves things so well. In the mix of the pond we see lots of reptiles and amphibians that have settled to the bottom. Mary is a Dimetrodon that settled- beautiful skeleton. So far we have a left maxilla, left dentary, four complete thoracic ribs, the C3 cervical vertebrae and I think C4 as well. After about a weeks worth of digging it looks like we'll have a pretty nice skeleton. Hope you enjoy the photos, and good hunting to everyone, Chris https://www.flickr.com/photos/45026327@N05/sets/72157650232293462/
  4. Leroy The Edaphosaurus!

    Hey gang, Finally getting around to posting an update on the newest skeleton. Still finding time to dig everyday for at least two hours during the week and full dig days on the weekend. And run the museum. And give tours. And make lunch. And sleep one hour a week. But whose complaining... Daphy Valley is turning out to be a pretty intense area; loaded with bone. We have over a dozen microsites now in the valley with at least 4 Edaphosaurs in mixed articulation and completeness. We have 5 Daphy humeri now, ranging from infant to big adult. The ontogeny studies they will provide is going to be great. Planning on having a least two or three thin sections taken to check on growth cycles. Should be fun to see how they were aging. Leroy is the newest skeleton I found about two weeks ago. Started with a single vert peeping out from the soil. Turned out to be 4 articulated lumbars. After jacketing and getting into the lab, it turns out the verts had rolled, so the neural spines were pointing straight down and were attached in the jacket. TOO COOL. Last few days we have two more sections of articulated verts and ton of neural spine crossbar pieces that are slowly going together. Nifty. Boy these guys were weird. Why the heck do they need to invest in soooo muuuchhh bone??? And the knobby spines were dense!! GEEZZ. Makes 'em so heavy... dunno. Cope said they were fer power sailing. Probably. Unlike many of the previous photos I've attached, these are a bit harder to visualize. The bones have caliche on them making them a bit ugly... but. We can see that the critter was rotting on the surface of the ground, allowing for the soils to do their damage. Luckily the caliche will prep under a needle. Daphy Valley is the first evidence in the Arroyo formation that shows these guys were living communally. Babies, terrible teens, and adults all living together. Eryops is all over the place too; understandably. This correlates with other formation Daphy beds. Both critters living nearby. Daphys near the vegetation on the river bank, and Eryops further in the water system, sticking close to the swampier parts. So far, hundreds of shed Eryops teeth, lots of bones including skull, femurs, ribs by the bucketload, toes (love amphibian toes) and other misc. pieces. Nice skull parts under a jacket now, need to get it out soon. OKEYDOKEY Thats all for now... Best, Chris https://www.flickr.com/photos/45026327@N05/sets/72157647534844609/
  5. George The Dimetrodon Update

    Hi gang, its 102. What a great temperature to dig in right?? So here is a link to more pics of the George skeleton, a nice Dimetrodon giganhomogenus. He is slowly continuing to relinquish himself from the bluff. Weathering out for the last couple thousand years has done some damage but the pieces are all going together. We have elements from every part of the body now, except a few. Accounted for are elements from the neck, back, pelvis, fin, legs, and ribcage. The most abundant element is the fin spines and vertebrae which is nice. We came across the odontoid this week, which is the vertebra that connects with the skull. So fingers crossed, we'll see George's smiling face soon. Enjoy the pics, back out to bake in the sun soon. Chris https://www.flickr.com/photos/45026327@N05/sets/72157645258158457/
  6. Huge Dimetrodon Score!

    Hey gang, Huge score this week in Dimetrodon land. Our huge beast of a Dimetrodon, Patti, is slowly becoming more and more complete. The near complete Dimetrodon loomisi, Mallori, laying next to the Dimetrodon grandis, Patti, is becoming more fascinating every day. This is the first time the two species have been found at this completeness side by side. The morphological studies defining the two is going to be so. much. fun. Two weeks ago I found a strange bone near Patti's skull; initially I attributed it to something sacral in nature. When I finally took it out after mapping, I notice the basioccipital process hidden below a thin layer of clay. It was the braincase. I can't even begin to describe how incredible this is. For one, and least important, its one of four we have found in 8 years. Thats only one every two years. This year we found three. Mallori the Dimetrodon loomisi has one, a complete one at that. Patti's is immense. This is the first time a skeleton has been found that is inarguably a grandis species, which has a pretty complete skeleton including the pelvis and braincase. I found the pelvis on friday, also complete and uncrushed. Grandis is supposed to have a longer ilium than other species. Finally a grandis with all the parts. We can finally osteologicaly define a Dimetrodon grandis. More fun than a barrel full of subterranean diplocaulids in springtime... https://www.flickr.com/photos/45026327@N05/sets/72157641875759275/
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