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bone picking and soaking the seds



Sorry about the first message, I cut and pasted a small section of text and the html filter kicked in hard.

Thanks to those who responded to my query.

I screened a bucket of the really hard Hell Creek material I had soaking (for a week) in just water today and found 3 sting ray teeth and several very small sharp teeth (probably fish) with just a cursory look. Out come the reading glasses tomorrow. This sediment has a lot of very small things that are easily overlooked in the field and I think that I will bring back a five gallon bucket of tailings each trip and see what turns up. Water alone as an agent of dissolution has a lot to be desired.

After doing a web search for Quat O, I found this source below for a substitute. (Now that it was brought up to me, I remember using Quat O back in graduate school back in the early 80's.)

A product called Quaternary O, a highly active but low sudsing detergent, was widely used for many years (e.g., Snyder et al., 1983). Although it is no longer available, a product called Miramine is a suitable and inexpensive substitute. It is available from the Miranol Chemical Company, 68 Culver Road, Dayton, NJ 08810. I have not called the company listed below yet to verify availability. Another good suggestion was mixing H202 to a 3 percent concentration and using that to break up the agglomerate. Yet another possible substance is Calgon Detergent.

Just a note, I have opened my Hell Creek search to the 15000 acre ranch immediately to the east of mine. My stratigraphic control is pretty good with a brand new (last week) water well going into Fox Creek Cretaceous sands at 420 feet below surface at a known location a mile west of my own recently dug ranch well (with the same stratigraphic data compensated for regional dip). In other words, I am still down in the Cretaceous. There are really big gullies on this new place that are virgin to paleontologists since the owner (who is in his late 60's) has never had a bone picker on his land. The initial look down a mile long gully was a mixed bag with some large areas of barren aeolian dune with little or no stream deposits but one thin bed yielded a pretty nice (now paleobonded) 3 inch vertebra with a 5 + inch neural spine (as yet still unidentified). There was also some Cretaceous diagnostic microsite fauna associated with it. The vert. was not articulated though and was sitting in a dune trough with some indication of running water and plant debris spread about. I suspect that the dozen or so collecting sites on my own ranch will soon multiply. (I already have more digs than I can work in a life time.) The lure of fresh and articulated material is strong and there are miles of gully and hill sides to check. The hunt goes on.

Anybody got a good used air abrasive unit for sale?

Frank Bliss
MS Biostratigraphy
Weston, Wyoming