Museum Blog

Quarry Life

Posted 7/3/2015 12:07 AM by Joseph Sertich | Comments

Written by Hank Woolley.

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The quarry that Mike, Miary, Willio, (les Quatre Fantastiques) and I called home for 17 days.

We’re back! Three words: Dinosaur. Bones. Everywhere. For the majority of my time in Berivotra, I was working on unearthing some beautiful fossils at our two main quarry sites. Both localities yielded an incredible array of bones, and it was truly exciting to be part of it all. I spent most of my time digging in a quarry containing bones of sauropod dinosaurs, theropod dinosaurs, birds, crocodiles, and turtles. Our days spent quarrying were long and hot (my particular quarry offered no semblance of shade), and occasionally our work would be periodically interrupted by a herd of Zébu (cows) or goats streaming by as if they were surveying our work.

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Some of our Zébu friends checking in on our progress.

Brushfires (Intentionally started by local farmers to rework topsoil for grazing) were also a somewhat startling addition to our daily routine, but luckily the sparse vegetation limited any real danger of wildfire spreading to our quarry.

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The smoke rising in the background represents one of our closer encounters with brushfires.

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Three of the “Quatre Fantastiques” ( L-R me, Miary, and Willio) hard at work.

All of these factors combine into a fieldwork experience truly unlike anything I’ve seen before. But despite the unusual conditions, we have recovered over 200 fossil specimens large and small from our two quarries, in addition to the 300+ specimens we have collected from prospecting. It was an incredibly productive three-and-a-half weeks in Berivotra, and we can’t wait to continue the good luck in Morondava!

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Willio and Mike couldn’t hide their excitement for a cookie break.

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Soaking in some pleasant late afternoon sun.

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Heading home after a long day of quarry life.

More updates to come!



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