Sunday, 7 December 2008

T-shirt colour

After way too much discussion, we have decided to have a choice of two T-shirt colours; Grey and Green. I'm not sure how Mike G managed to order a yellow one!

Sandblasting fun!

Well, the December 2008 Otways dig has finished.
Our new volunteers put up with drizzle and flies and being blasted by sand at high speeds.
We didn't find a lot of bones - 24 when I left counting the ugly little scraps.
We did have a lot of fun with dueling banjos and an amazing group clogging that had other campers believing that we were a religious cult!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Eric the Crayfish

We're getting ready for another dig at "Eric the Crayfish". Matt has this idea that maybe part of the articulated dinosaur Mike found is in an erratic (loose rock) somewhere near the orginal site. So it looks like an erratic hunt to start the dig....

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Still no decision on the colour of the 2009 dig crew T-shirts.

New Vollies

We had a great day on Saturday talking to the applicants to be new volunteers in 2009.
I only scared two away by telling them of the Inverloch bathroom arrangements!
We've met a few that I'm really looking forward to working with...
Cheers, Wendy.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Friends' Field Report Day

Hi Team,
We had a great day on Saturday presenting the 2008 Field Report.

Gerry handed out reports and
counted attendees out the front.
Lesley kicked things off
...and really enjoyed telling us about the turtle skull!
Tom talked about mammal jaws next to a beautiful
Peter Trussler image of Bishops Whitmorei.
Dave (becoming known as a hand and foot
expert) played with the light pointer.

We also had reports from John W and Mike C, as well as a stirring rendition of "Under the Southern Cross We Stand..." from Nicole.

For more, you'll need to wait for your copy of the Field Report!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Plans for the 2008/2009 Field Season

Hi Team,
I may not have blogged for a while, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy planning for this summer!
We're finalising dates for an "Eric the Crayfish" Otway trip in the first week in December.

We're busy checking everything for Inverloch 2009.
Crew members will be pleased to learn that we have secured the Lavington St property for another year, and the dig is almost certainly going to be from 1 Feb to 28 Feb (a 4 week field season).
We're planning to return to the popular "Popcorn of the Cretaceous" T-shirt design, and are having a healthy debate about colours.
We're likely to concentrate on "Bridge East" and John has designed a new "retaining wall" system. I look forward to posting some pictures in February!

Rookies Information day is pencilled in for 25 October.

Friends' Info Day

Pencil 18th October in your diaries for Friends Information Day.
Those of you not Friends of Dinosaur Dreaming can join at

Monday, 31 March 2008

An Andy Warhol Moment

At Dino Dreaming, we are as thrifty as we can be with our sponsor's dollars.
I think that Darren has captured the essence of this.
Cheap imported soup we bought in bulk last year (or perhaps the one before that).

I'm not sure what the tiny dinosaurs represent...

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Preliminary results

A well preserved ornithopod tibia
Paired turtle pubes (hip bones) and a turtle coracoid
found only centimetres away from the hip bones.
Fused turtle sacral vertebrae. This bone was described by Wendy as
"a square bone with four feet" so I just had to prepare it.
It has now been nearly three weeks since the Dinosaur Dreaming 2008 dig came to an end. For some it is back to the real world and a normal job. However, for a privileged few the real fun begins. Preparation of the specimens that were found during the dig has begun and the preliminary results are looking good:

Over 700 fossil bones and teeth were catalogued during the dig, not including the "shoulder bones", which are bone fragments too incomplete to catalogue. Some of the stand-out specimens to have been identified include the three mammal jaws, which are in David Pickering's capable hands, waiting to be prepared. Gerry Kool's lovely ornithopod maxilla could turn out to be very interesting if it can be determined that it is Qantassaurus intrepidus. David is also working on this specimen.
At least 28 individual ornithopod teeth were identified and more will no doubt turn up during examination of the material. Only 6 theropod teeth were found, which is a little down on the average number. More than 120 isolated theropod teeth have been recovered from the Flat Rocks site over the last 15 years.
Some nice dinosaur limbs were also found this field season, including an ornithopod femur, at least two tibiae and a fibula. One of the tibiae is shown above.
Some very well preserved turtle elements were also found this year, including a turtle braincase, lower jaw, numerous isolated vertebrae, paired pubes and associated coracoid (shown above). These bones are from a number of individuals and will add more information to our database.
Preparation of more of the fossil bones is ongoing, so stay tuned...

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Last day.

Well, we've all packed up Inverloch and gone home.
But not before a BBQ at Gerry and Lesley's.
Alan and Gerry cook mounds
of sausages whilst enjoying
a red. We love their aprons.
Danielle, Felicity, Nicole, Penny, Anne, Lesley
and Keiichi wait for dinner to be ready.
Mike plays guitar - he starts with the
rock-breaking song from Les Mis but moves
quickly (due to popular demand) to Fergie Tractor
and Washing the Miner's Clothes.
But not everyone seems to be paying attention...

Friday, 7 March 2008

Week 6 crew

Last but not least dig crew for the 2008 Dinosaur Dreaming season.
Thank you one and all.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Last day at the site

Today was the last day at site for this field season.
And what a beautiful day it was.

John and Udo strike remarkedly similar poses.

John tries out the new Venturi that David built us. It still needs some refinement. Gerry leaps into the water in his socks to help.

Keiichi removes the last rock from the hole. The hole crew is protected from passers-by.

Tim was trying to break rock, but was distracted by one of Bill's funny stories.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

New finds in Week 6

An ornithopod femur in cross-section
Ventral surface of turtle carapace

Dave's new toy

Dave was delighted with his new toy jackhammer

Dave and Wendy received tokens of appreciation

Dave received a new (toy) jackhammer as he wore out the real one

Wendy received a lovely Peter Trusler print in appreciation for all her
hard work during the dig.

Dinosaur Dreaming Dig party

The three amigos - Vicki, Kim and John

Waiting for the fun to start with the pinatas

John's method of peeling onions

old friends

Bill Hopkins and Helen Wilson last saw each other in 1991
at Dinosaur Cove

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Dig Party

Saturday was our annual dig party. We strung pinatas from the clothesline.
Caroline, Sarah, Jacqui and
Andrew check them out.
Blindfolded diggers hit them
with a stick - Mike's turn.

Andrew plays with the Glow sticks
that fell from the piƱatas.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Four bones

The crew found 4 bones in close proximity The dark brown bone on the right is a bit of a mystery.

Week five of the dig

Week five crew
Week five was quite sunny
but the wind was really cold

A beautiful sunny day

John hard at work with the jackhammer.
He'd already won "bone of the day" with a tooth he'd found whilst waiting to leave the house.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

A big rock

Yesterday we had another school visit, this time year 10 girls from Loreto-Mandeville Hall. They seemed to have a great time, and asked a lot of questions about everything from volcanos to fossils.

We were also visited by some of the scientists who have been involved with the dig for many years - Tom Rich (Museum Victoria), Pat Vickers-Rich and Barbara Wagstaff (Monash University).

Pat requested that we remove a large block of rock covering all of our fossil-bearing strata layers to be taken whole to the Monash labs to be mapped in detail. A rock was chiselled from the hole, and passed inspection (it had a few fossils on the outside including a beautiful turtle vertebra). This left us with the logistical problem of transporting a 50kg+ lump of rock back to the lab. A wheelbarrow was duly produced, and the rock wheeled "the long way" across the sand to where the road was close to the beach. Although it was better than carrying the rock up the stairs to our usual carpark, Pat still gave us express permission to curse her as we pushed!

A last-minute ornithopod tooth by Mary just on knock-off time won "bone of the day".

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Finally some sunny weather

We were finally treated to some sunny weather today after what seemed like an eternity of grey skies and drizzle. We were also visited by 70 Grade 2 and 3 students from Inverloch Primary School, who were very enthusiastic.  We had a great day of finding fossils - a lovely complex curly bone which might be part of a skull, and also 4 teeth.
We were visited by John Long (Head of
Sciences at Museum Victoria) with
the winners of the New Scientist
competition, Sam Arman and Ben Hopper.
Lesley and John


Monday, 25 February 2008

Sedimentology & Taphonomy

A sedimentologist and taphonomist
\examine the shore platform and confer.

Wendy's turtle humerus found in rock we had
stored overnight on the beach. This bone was
beaten to "bone of the day" by a dinosaur metatarsal.

More Jackhammering

Today we did more jackhammering to remove overburden.
It was fun.

But hard work.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Early morning at Prep Rock

Cilla and Anne discuss fossils in
the Prep Rock hole. It was very windy
and (if truth be told) a bit chilly.
Doris looks at a tiny fossil
with Bill. Note the effect of
the high wind on Bill's bandanna.