Saturday, October 28, 2006

Field Season Completed

The field season has officially come to an end for the CFDC. Many new specimens were brought in this year, consisting of fragments and solitary bones to partially completed skeletons. One of the last specimens removed from the field was M-06-02-03 (shown above) a partially articulated and complete mosasaur approximately 5 metres in lenght. It will be prepared and identified over the winter months.

A more detailed description of the specimens collected this year will be provided on the CFDC website under Field Research.

I'd just like to thank all of the field volunteers who helped to make this past field season a successful one. Hope to see everyone back again next year.

Collection Room Tidy Up

The Collection Room will undergo a tidy up in November and December in preparation for the upcoming Manitoba Paleontology Symposium in 2007. Some of the larger shelving units used to house field jackets will be taken down and moved to the opposite side of the room creating space for work stations and researchers to examine specimens. This new space will also allow for a new saftey storage area and support casting station. We hope the space will be more efficient and have an open feel to it.

New Bird Fossil

The saying "finds happen either at the beginning or the end of the field season" is absolutely true. On one of the last field days, a school was out with us and discovered the remains of a marine bird. Currently the fossil remains consist of 4 vertebrae (backbones) and possibly a rib. Although the remains seem small (2.5cm in length), this is a large size for birds. This specimen is from the genus Hesperornis as shown above and was anywhere from 1-1.5m in length. Pretty big for a bird. Unfortunately due to the lateness of the season the specimen will have to wait to be excavated at the beginning of next field season.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Conference

What a succes. I spent the last week in Ottawa for a paleontology conference to present my poster on the stomach contents from Betsy. The conference also included a memorial symposium for Dr. Elisabeth (Betsy) Nicholls entitled Global Perspective on Marine Reptiles and Their Evolution . Good stuff! There were also valuable sessions on preparation of fossil material including paraffin wax.

Promotion of the CFDC was evident and greatly received by colleagues. Emphasis was placed on the upcoming MPS in Morden of 2007.

The Canadian Museum of Nature was fantastic. The new gallery space was stunning and even had that new paint smell. Well done to those who put in all that hard work.

Networking was very productive. There may be a few excavation projects with other institutions in the upcoming field seasons. I'll keep you posted once I have more particulars.

I'd like to thank the CFDC, Town of Morden, the Canadian Museums Association and the Department of Canadian Heritage for funding assistance to attend this conference.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why no blog?

Wow, I just looked at the last posting and couldn't believe its been a month already. I must apologize and will keep up with the postings once a week. That being said, October has been an extremely busy month. I will post about 5 blogs over the next few days to bring everyone up to speed on what's been happening.

My apologies again but there will be some exciting stuff you have to check out, both from the CFDC and interesting news in the paleo world.