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> August 4, 2006 - Trouble at the Quarry, The slab crumbles
post Aug 6 2006, 03:14 AM
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Clambering up to the quarry this morning was exciting because we hoped to remove the portion of the jacket containing a head of a pachyrhinosaur. Kent, Thomas, and Chris carefully reinforced the jacket while undercutting the slab. Unexpectedly, the slab shifted and the material in the jacket began tumbling down. A quick catch by Kent saved the bones from tumbling completely down the bluff.

Although few would realize the severity of that moment, I did. Years of preparation and anticipation of extracting an articulated specimen from this quarry vanished in an instant. The look of disappointment on the faces of Thomas and Tony was extremely obvious. Most people would handle the situation poorly – possibly letting the unfortunate event ruin the expedition. Not these two! After taking a moment to gather their thoughts and deal with the difficult situation, they immediately discussed an action plan for saving the bones. I have to stress this again – everyone at the quarry handled this ‘accident’ was amazing pose. Kent, the guy who has to put all of these bones back together joked, “I’ve seen worse – but I’ll get these back together for these guys.”’

As the afternoon sun climbed higher in the sky, so did the spirits of the research team. Extracting 65-70 million year old fossils from such an extreme environment is never easy. Assisting with the moral boast after the mishap this morning was the discovered of even more bones. It appears Dave and I may have uncovered a shoulder blade and skull of another specimen. However, this is just a field assessment. This truth will be uncovered once the slab is analyzed in the lab.

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Kent, Thomas, and Chris placing a jacket around a portion of the slab.
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