Thursday, August 25, 2011

Poached Again, Dammit

Hey, I recognize that plastic!
This past week Mike and Jacob returned to Kansas to do some field work, and were reminded by the heat and lack of breeze exactly why we don't usually go back till fall. They scouted some outcrops near where we discovered the poached Protosphyraena fin earlier this year. About 1/4 mile south of that site, Jacob spotted a sliver of blue plastic coming out of the outcrop... again.

View from the site
It was haphazardly covered with about 1 foot of loose chalk and had appeared to have been excavated about 2 years ago judging from the size of the plants growing in the talus. As with the last poaching attempt, the site was nearly completely excavated down to the bone layer before it was abandoned/re-covered. I have the distinct feeling these poachers may be headhunters.
Critter just prior to jacketing
After exposing it,the site turned out to be a sorta jumbled Xiphactinus coming out tail first. There may or may not be skull bits present. Our crew made short work of the specimen and took it out in 3 jackets. After that, the thermometer hit 109 degrees before lunch and it was time to get the proverbial hell out of Dodge. I think hunting out there will be better in about a month. Especially with someone out there finding and pre-excavating specimens for us.

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