Field Blog 2013- July 16

The team met in Luanda on the 12th and after gathering the proper permits, and getting the vehicles and supplies organized, we set out for the localities in the north around the village of Iembe.  This locality has thus far yielded 4 holotypes; Angolasaurus bocagei, Tylosaurus iembeensis,  Angolachelys mbaxi, and Angolatitan adamastor.

Our goals this year for the Iembe locality were threefold. First, we needed to collect fossil molluscs for stable carbon isotope analysis to build a chemostratigraphy of the area which we will compare with the global record to provided better age control for the fossils we have recovered from the site. Second, we needed to revisit previous dig sites to see if any additional material had weathered out of the outcrops, and third, we wanted to prospect for new localities in the area.

We accomplished all of our goals and were especially excited to find a new productive locality to the north of the outcrops that had yielded our previous finds in the area. We found fragmentary material including a disarticulated turtle carpace, plesiosaur limb material, and a disarticulated mosasaur that appears to be Angolasaurus. We collected the plesiosaur limb and Angolasaurus material. Judging from the associated fish and molluscs, we believe this new locality is about the same horizon as the type locality of Angolasaurus and Angolatitan.

We returned to Luanda on the 15th to begin the next leg of the expedition.