Live from the Field: Secodontosaurus Found?

(c)Dr. Robert T. Bakker

Our paleontology team – led by Dr. Robert Bakker – is back in Seymour, TX this week, digging for Dimetrodon at a site they’ve now been working for several years. (You can read more of what’s been found already in our daily blog from the field in 2007).

Chris Flis sent us another update today – on a huge possible find. The team thinks they may have found the pelvis – and possibly a full skeleton – of a Secodontosaurus. The fox-faced finback – so called because of its slender muzzle – could easily be confused for a Dimetrodon – but they are actually quite different.

If they have in fact found a Seco – it will be the first that has been uncovered since 1936 (with the exception of HMNS’ Nancy Bowen’s discovery of an isolated scapula from this species on one of the team’s earlier digs). With today’s more complete digging methods, this find would give us the opportunity to learn much more about this rare species from the contextual information being preserved around the fossil.

Click the podcast below for more updates from yesterday’s dig:


More from the field tomorrow! Until then, you can also check out earlier updates from this dig trip:

Day One: Live from the Fossil Field
Day Two: The Smoking Gun
Day Three: New Discoveries

Live from the field – New Discoveries

Dr. Bakker (right) and Chris Flis
dig the “Uma” site in Seymour.

Our paleontology team – led by Dr. Robert Bakker – is back in Seymour, TX this week, digging for Dimetrodon at a site they’ve now been working for several years. (You can read more of what’s been found already in our daily blog from the field in 2007).

Chris Flis sent the update on yesterday’s progress – the day was filled with new finds which you can hear all about in the podcast below.

In the podcast, Chris also talks about “jacketing” several fossils – this is done when a site yields so many fossils that they can’t safely be excavated in the time the team has available. So, the team digs a trench around the site, covers it with many layers of plaster and burlap to stabilize it, and flips it to cover the bottom. You end up with a giant slab of plaster-encased dirt that can be brought home for further excavation and study.

And when I say giant, I mean it – our team has brought home jackets weighing up to 500 pounds. The jacket made for Leonardo, the mummified dinosaur that was found in Montana (which is now on display here) weighed 6 tons!

The team’s 2007 blog has a great video of the end of the jacketing process – and a bit more detail in how it happens.


More from the field tomorrow! Until then, you can also check out earlier updates from this dig trip:

Day One: Live from the Fossil Field
Day Two: The Smoking Gun