After the intense work schedule of the field season, the researchers and students have gone back to their posts and resumed the more sedentary lifestyle of indoor paleontology.
However, the process of discovery continues as preparators and technicians work hard in the laboratories to bring many of the most outstanding field specimens out of their plaster-encased coffins, into the light of research.
One of the new preparator/driver of the 2010 field season, Mr. Shengli Wu of the IVPP, has been preparing ZD1001 specimens with high efficiency. When he finished extracting two bovid dentaries from the field plaster jacket ZD1001.6~7, he continued to remove the rest of the matrix as instructed by the chief preparator.
[ZD1001.6~7 field jacket, shown with the two bovid dentaries which were the original targets of the plaster jacket]
Just a few days ago, an additional fossil specimen was uncovered from the remaining matrix in the jacket...
It is a partial left maxilla of a small felid, matching in size to two other individuals of the same type already discovered from the ZD1001 quarry.
Four teeth are preserved on this new specimen, and the complete canine will be informative in our identification of this carnivoran once all materials have been prepared.
Meanwhile, a partial skull of the same felid is being prepared in the laboratory of the LACM. More updates will be posted after the annual gathering of vertebrate paleontologists from around the world at the meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, happening this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 9 to 13 October.