On Sunday and Monday, the team was divided into two groups: one excavating the mosasaur quarry, and a second prospecting Paleogene outcrops near a potential K-Pg boundary. The team at the mosasaur site worked on removing rock above the bone layer. Careful exposure of bone is needed in order to know where blocks can be separated and removed from the bone layer. Small blocks are preferred, as these are lighter, but in some areas the bones are dense, and will require large jackets. The skull section is one of those areas that will require a larger block!
Continued work on the dig revealed the right lower jaw and a possible maxilla that includes those mushroom-shaped teeth that are diagnostic of Globidens. Our goal in the days ahead is to locate all the bones in the quarry, make sure everything is mapped, then begin to isolate and remove blocks of bone and rock in plaster and burlap jackets.
The K-Pg site continues to become more promising, as a dense layer of squid-like animals called nautiloids was discovered above the upper-most layer of the Cretaceous represented at Bentiaba. These cephalopods may be a taxon represented only in the age after the end of the Mesozoic. In addition to the nautiloids, some vertebrate remains were also discovered, another very exciting development. Continued work at both the K-Pg site and the mosasaur site will add significantly to the amazing geology and paleontological heritage of Angola!