Field Work Travelogue: Day 12 – Cheetahs, Cheetahs everywhere. #NTCave15

It was another wonderful, yet exhausting day in the cave.

One of the first things that happened was the collection of a pelvis belonging most likely to a Bison.

Kacia Cain prepares to package the Bison pelvis for removal.
Kacia Cain prepares to package the Bison pelvis for removal.

The Bison pelvis before removal.
The Bison pelvis before removal.

Then we set about digging as always. I went back to where much of a North American cheetah had been found and began quarrying. Naturally, we found things.

Calcaneum (heel bone) of a North American cheetah.
Calcaneum (heel bone) of a North American cheetah.
A cheetah incisor tooth.
A cheetah incisor tooth.

And, my best find of the day: A cheetah jaw fragment with a first molar preserved.

North American cheetah lower jaw fragment with the first molar.
North American cheetah lower jaw fragment with the first molar.

It took quite a bit of work to collect these fossils. Some were buried under very large rocks.

Postdoc Cory Redman muscles a huge rock aside. Under this we found the calcaneum pictured above.
Postdoc Cory Redman muscles a huge rock aside. Under this we found the calcaneum pictured above.

But mostly we just sat and carefully moved sediment, which is chilly work in a cave at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

PI Julie Meachen takes a moment to warm up in the sun before getting back to work.
PI Julie Meachen takes a moment to warm up in the sun before getting back to work.

But it’s totally worth it. I’ll be back in the cave tomorrow. Got lots more work to do!

Sitting in a sunbeam.
Sitting in a sunbeam.

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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