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WOW What a week in the Arundel Clay!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hello all. I am taking a break from my lobbying efforst to save both my site
and my research to to give those of you who are interested an progress report
on what little field work I can get in! As far as this problem goes, it's
been way to quiet and I have been hodling the fire under certain bureacrats
feet to get some psoitve action but to no apparaent avail. I remain undaunted
and will press on. At least now, I have the contac info of ceratin KEY
individuals that at some later point I may ask the assembled mind to flood
with emals of support, if not for me at least to save the continent's only
remaining east coast occurrence of Aptian dinosaurs and mammals!
Today I left work early to get some overdue prospecting done. It was the
usual scorching hot day ata a clay pit but the prospect was extraordinary and
one of the best days I have ever had in over a decade of crawling over that
outcrop! In fact, last weeks trip was nearly as productive . The reason?
During last summers field work thanks to support from the Bryan patterson
Project, the quarry owners and my devoted volunteers (all of whose email I
need thanks to that virus attack) we stripped off about 2-4 meters of
overburden off the top of the arundel. this expanded our outcrop some 30-50%.
We now have our own "breakfast bench" with which to work. Furthermore. it's
been a full year since that project ended and nature has taken up in the form
of heavy erosion to produce the perfect site! Today, in just under 5 hours
of surface collecting, I recovered two large distal ends of MT's that
seemingly belong to our large, unnamed ornithomimid that i am working on .I
also recovered yet another proximal phalanx of same. Additionally, I found
the largest croc tooth I have ever seen here measuring over 2" long! This was
followed by one of the smallest croc teeth i have seen in situ! Then I found
a small dorsal(?) vert that resembles the same vert described by Hatcher,
1903 for Astrodon. I need to clean this up more so don't hold n=me to it.
Then also in the wak of the plow and on the bench, three beautiful allosaurid
, cf. Acrocanthosaur teeth. Two laterals and one possible but small premax
tooth. I may have also found a nic piece of amber ~1 cm sq qith apparent
All of the specimens wee found in areas distrbed by the plow and thus,
validate my hypothesis that stripping the overburden down to the
limonite-siderite zone that caps the Arundel woudl be productive.
Lats weeks trip was just as good and the salinet finds for that week were
three allosaurid teeth of approxamately equal size and within a few feet of
each other. Now my only concern is did the plow hit a dentulous jaw to
produce 7 teeth in one week? This is usually a _years_ worth of carnosaur
Also over the last couple months, I have two large segmenst of long bone,
possibly theropodan, some deinonychus sp. teeth and some phalanges of an
extremely small, possibly hatchling version of the big ornithomimid tarsus I
And, in the microfraction that is being picked I have learned that we have
another new discovery that is very important and significant and bolsters
the imperative that we must save this site from development and the heavy
hand of government and politics, both of which appear to have the cards right
now. Little ol' me sans a PhD just cannot get the face time needed to meet
withlet alone pursuade those that there is a better way to amicably resolve
this issue! Thanks to those faceless grad committes for making my carreer
aspirations an near insurmountable impossibility! GRRRRRRRRRRR!
Regarding Darren naish's IoW dinos book and related pubs. While I hav enot
read the book yet, the illustrations are superb. So much so that i should and
will compare them with some _very_ similar _ Arundel theropod mterial
including a cnemial crest, femora, and other items. Ditto for som
'goniopholid croc material, hybodont material, and coprolites! Thelatter I
have suspecte for quite some time but have been unsure. Does anyone have
Karen Chin's new email addy?
In fact, one could almost literally transpose Arundel every where in the text
wher it says Wessex or wealden. wher the geology, _ichnology_ stratigraphy
and mineralogy are concerned. It is fine piece of work and one that I will
have a tough time with as far as not sounding plagiarist. There are that many
similarities that my fututre fauna of the Arundel Clay volume may sound like
an IoW ripoff! Don't worry though, I will make great pains to avoid any hint
Next on the "to " list is Luis Reys long anticipated book, I just love his
style work and another UK Early K paleo volume, and the tanke and carpenter
Well, it's late and my back ache drugs have kicked in so I'm off to crash.
Sorry for the typos and I hope this made sense!
Finally, would those of you who helped me last summer on the dino dig email
me asap as I don't have your addresses anymore. It's important!
Thomas R. Lipka
2733 Kildaire Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21234 USA