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this page without the expressed written permission of
the author (Steven Christopher Wallace).
Want to dig up a Mosasaur?
spent five weeks during the summer of 1996 helping excavate the beautiful
specimen pictured below. The fossil was originally discovered by Jeff McCoy
(of Russell, Kansas) in Gove County, Kansas during a State 4-H geology field
trip that Jeff and his family were leading. Jeff sought help from the Sternberg
Museum of Natural History, in Hays, Kansas (where I was a volunteer at the
time). I was sent out to investigate the site and ended up spending most
of the summer helping with the excavation. I am very thankful to Jeff and
his family (wife, Georgie and daughter, Megan) for their willingness to let
me help and their generous hospitality. Both my wife and I have become very
good friends with the McCoy family, and remain in contact with them.
|| This picture was
taken shortly after I began to help with the excavation. The hammer is a
standard masonry hammer that was included for scale. Note the "paddle" (specialized
manus) on the right hand side of the picture. The pectoral girdle is clearly
visible along with the humerus, radius, and ulna. Although the vertebrae
are visible, the containing rock has yet to be removed.
| Hard at work in
this picture, you can see Jeff McCoy (lower right), Megan McCoy (lower left),
and myself (upper left). Not all of the work was delicate, and in this picture
you can see the removal of overburden with picks and shovels.
|| Once the overburden
was removed, work was done with dental picks so the chalk could be removed
without damaging the fossil. This picture includes Jeff (left), Georgie (middle),
and Megan (right) McCoy. Note the change in the color of the chalk when freshly
| Here is Jeff "breaking
his back" over this fossil. Note the hole that has been created to remove
this fossil. Not all fossils come out of the ground like those of "Jurassic
|| I sure had a tan that summer. Note the teeth visible
in both the dentary and maxillary.
| You can clearly see a "paddle" at the top of this
picture. The next picture is a close up of this image.
|| Note that both pterygoids are visible in this picture
(small bones on the roof of the mouth that were lined with teeth).
This page last
updated October 8, 2001 scw
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