Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Gerry grinning
Gerry looks very pleased with his find at Eric the Red West.  We're waiting for Dave to check it out back at the museum, but we are about due for another mammal jaw....

Again thanks to Lisa for capturing the moment so well!

Eric the Red Field Crew

Tom Astrid Gerry Lesley Travis Sarah Erich Mary Dean Dave
The intrepid crew sets out for a day of digging at Eric the Red West, prepared for any sort of weather.

Thanks to Lisa for the photo.

Monday, 28 November 2011

A weekend at Eric the Red: 25-27 November 2011

We didn't exactly pick the best weekend to spend on the exposed south coast of Victoria. The weather forecast was rain and more rain. However, we are a tough bunch and a bit of rain wasn't going to deter us.
We rendezvoused at Bimbi Caravan Park, near Cape Otway, (a must for koala lovers) on Friday night and made plans for the next day. Saturday dawned grey but no rain. We were hopeful. We got down to the Eric the Red site - still no rain.
The first thing we noticed was the lack of sand, which usually covers most of the shore platform. On this particular morning its absence gave us our first view of the entire fossil layer and its extent. On previous visits to the site, we had glimpsed areas of conglomerate exposed between patches of sand and were unsure of its extent. Now we could see all the layers and we immediately started searching the newly exposed conglomerate for exposed bones.
We were rewarded with the discovery of six exposed bones, weathering on the surface of the shore platform - one in the area where the partial dinosaur skeleton was found six years ago and five bones in the newly exposed area. It was a great start to the weekend and we talked excitedly about future work at the site.
Then the rain came. It started as a drizzle and built up to a miserable drenching downpour. We toughed it out until lunchtime, but then admitted defeat when it became increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the bones and coal in the conglomerate.
Sadly we walked away from our potential bonanza, vowing to return the next day, weather permitting.
The afternoon passed slowly, with wistful faces watching the rain fall. However, the rain eased over night and Sunday morning was grey but dry. Back to Eric the Red, where David Pickering wanted to sample a number of sections along the length of the exposure. Three areas were chosen and a small amount of rock was collected from each for further processing at Museum Victoria. The rest of the crew sat breaking some of the rock that had been excavated the day before, with interesting results.
Mary Walters found a nice skull fragment and Gerry Kool found what we are all hoping is a mammal jaw. We will know more after Dave has worked his magic on it in the preparation lab at the Museum.
The rain held off and 15 bones in total were discovered - 6 surface bones and 9 bones found during rock processing. A great result for two mornings work.
We will definitely be back next year.
Team photo to follow when Lisa (the official photographer) sends it to us.

The first bone found in the newly
exposed fossil layer, by Lesley Kool
Cross section through dinosaur limb bone
found by Lesley Kool in the newly exposed area.

Possible turtle pelvic bone found by
David Pickering, near the site of the
articulated dinosaur skeleton

Some of the team watching Dave cut out
one of the newly discovered bones,
while Lisa Nink documented the event
for the Museum Victoria blog.

Mary holding her skully fragment.
The sun was almost shining!

Gerry and Mary breaking rock while
Erich removed one of the newly
discovered bones in the background.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

New documentary

A couple of photos taken last Friday when Tony Robinson was filming an episode of his new documentary series at in Dave's lab under the Royal Exhibition Building. Ursula Smith works at the Museum and was an extra in one of the "Time Team" episodes. Rolf Schmidt is the Collection Manager of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Dave Pickering (as many of us know) is the Collection Manager of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeobotany.

Ursula, Dave, Rolf, Tony

Dave, Rolf, Tony

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Rookies with shovels

Sand flying past Mario

John joins in

Catherine Gavin and Yoni


Car park Briefing
Poolside briefing

Travis and Eve
Mario Sue and Mary

Anna Jocelyn and Jacqui

Jacqui and Wendy

Jesse Yoni and Andrew

Peggy Catherine and Gavin

Mike Pip Daniel Rhiana and Jacquelyn

Fossil finds on Rookie's day

Travis holds his find
Travis' hollow shaft
Gavin holds his find
Gavin's limb bone

Jacqui holds her find
Jacqui's probable partial turtle skull