Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jane of all Trades: Paleontologist

One of the things that I do is paleontology.  It is what I'm currently getting paid to do.  These are photos from an excavation that took place in 2007 where we found a Giant Ground Sloth in Irvine approximately 20' below the modern surface.

That's me in the middle.  We are mapping the exposed bones in the ground using a 1 x 1 meter square grid and sketching it onto a large piece of paper also on a grid.  (The sloth is obviously supervising).  This became the company Christmas card for that year.
 This is a picture from the OC Weekly about the story.  There I am on the left, mapping.
 This Ground Sloth had a lot of ribs!
We found a good chunk of the skull here, with a few teeth.
 This is what happens when a piece of large equipment scrapes over a fossil.  This used to be a leg or arm bone, i believe.  It is quite common for one or two bones to be hit by machinery... unfortunate, but it is part of the reason we found the animal at all!
  These are some backbones (vertebrae).

Up close view of a tooth.

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