|Starting the hole
RMDRC 06-009 "Cap'n Chuck" was the first mosasaur I ever found. It's a specimen of Platecarpus "ictericus" (sorry Takuya, haven't made the species switch yet) from the upper chalk of Logan County, about 83 million years old. I spotted a single dorsal vertebra sticking out of a vertical gully wall, about 12 feet above the gully bottom. Don't ask what I was doing looking up there. My boss, Mike, loaded Jacob and I into the bucket of the bobcat and lifted us up to see if there was anything else there besides the single vertebra. Yep! we discovered the back of the skull, but since it was late October and in the low 50s (with drizzle coming in and lots of wind) we decided to secure the site till the next spring.
|We made this big of a hole in 3 days
|Do you see the skull?
|Main jacket flipped and prepared. Things are much easier to see.
Once show-prepped in the lab it was decided that Cap'n Chuck was complete enough to restore in 3d (most exploded skulls are good candidates, there's less crushing distortion). That meant pulling every individual bone out of the jacket and cleaning it completely. This enabled us to get a good look at some rare parts like the interclavicle and ear cartilages. Hopefully we'll be able to start restoration sooner or later!