Just finished a sort of long-term new project for us. Occasionally we get requests from museums and universities to come out in the field with us and collect specimens. Even more occasionally, we oblige. In 2011 a class from the University of Tennessee - Martin (actually 2 classes, one in geology, one in journalism) came out to our digsites in western Kansas to find and document fossils for a new museum project. TPI fieldcrews supervised and instructed, however we let the students do the finding. They came up with several neat little fossils (several Spinaptychus, a Chelosphargus partial skull, Martinichthys skulls) and lots of partial fish. On the second day, one student hit the jackpot: the tip of the lower jaw of a mosasaur poking out from just under the alluvium.
Here, Aaron (the discoverer) works to remove overburden from the specimen. TPI does the same thing, though usually with fewer spectators. He decided to name the mosasaur "Kimberly". I've named specimens worse things I suppose.
|Digsite viewed from across the gully, right near MU 5|
|Standard TPI field photo pose, before jacketing|
|Not a bad little mosasaur.|