PaleoAngola Field Season 2011 Entry 2

July 15, 2011 - Pliocene Whales and Crocodiles

We have been working near Rio Cuanza for the past few days. A geologist colleague had found some whale

and croc material here this past year while on a field trip from Luanda and tipped us off to the locality.

We relocated the matrial he had found and have now identified more than two dozen additional specimens

for removal. The specimens consist of one or more bones, most preserved in concretions.

The most spectacular fossils are a very well preserved whale skull and the skull of a crocodile.

The latter has only the premaxillary teeth and a bit of the lower jaws showing, but

promises to be a great specimen.

At this point this appears to be a Pliocene locality based on the presence of the Great White

Shark, Carcharodon cacharias. We plan to remove the fossils this weekend.

Getting in and out of the locality has been a bit of fun. We can only pass certain points by 4 wheel drive at low

tide, and even with 4WD that can be challenging.  While hiking out yesterday, the high tide nearly blocked our exit.

We timed the waves and managed to get by, getting wet only to the knees. Our colleague Octavio Mateus

arrived in Lunda yesterday and is now in Catoca in the interior checking out some reported fossil tracks. He will

also be prospecting for fossil vertebrates during his stay.   More to come...