End of Day 1: new locality

7 August 2010. Zhadagou

On our morning excursion we drove to a dead end where a storm during the previous night had washed away sections of the trail. We then turned back and stopped at a promising outcrop which jutted up 200 feet above the road.

Everyone packed their lunch and began tackling the steep hike up to the platform. It took Jack and Gary 18 minutes to get to the top, with falling rock hitting Gary in the right knee once along the way (he is ok).

No sooner had we walked a few ridges over the edge did the first discovery happen: Juan Liu (University of Alberta) had found some vertebral and limb bone fragments which led her to a hillside littered with fossils of all sizes and varieties.

The entire team eventually gathered at her locality, and spent the day prospecting and excavating at ZD1001, the first locality of the season.

By 1700, we had recovered ten different mammals and one kind of small fish. Among the mammals are three-toed horse, rhino, two bovids (one spiral-horned, the other smaller and straighter-horned), a hyena, a cat, a badger, a rabbit, a pika, and a squirrel.

Tomorrow we will split the team, one to continue excavation of the bonebed, the other to explore adjacent hills.

A great first day full of new findings to boost our morale! The weather held up nicely, although ominous clouds caused a brief period of panic when snow was dumped on the peaks just east of us, within an hour's reach by foot-hike.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Yanping said...

Congratulations! The first day success will keep the good luck with you to the end. Keep warm.

Anonymous said...

we hope you're safe and staying dry. on the news, we heard that there were floods in the tibetan plateau. - mom & dad takeuchi, ho family