Monday, April 25, 2011

Creodont - Oxyaenodon dysodus

Last year I spent quite a bit of time in the office doing prep and scheduling while my boss was away. When I finally got back out into the field, the others I was working with seemed to be finding all of the fossils on that first day. I said something like "Man! I've been in the office too long, I've forgotten how to find fossils." Less than 30 seconds later, I found this. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it is Oxyaenodon dysodus. It belongs to a group of extinct carnivorous mammals called Creodonts. Modern carnivorous mammals, Carnivorans, out-competed the Creodonts and drove them to extinction around 8 million years ago.
This is the first Creodont we've found at work (that I'm aware of) and it's in a type of rock in which we don't normally find fossils. The rock fractures very easily and is pretty hard, while the fossils are just a bit softer so that makes it challenging. This was on the surface and when I put all the pieces together it looked like swiss cheese with pieces missing in the middle. I endeavored to fill the gaps with bondo and glue with varying success. Here are photos of the jaws after prep. The pieces of the skull which were associated didn't come out looking so pretty, so I won't post them.
I normally end up preparing other people's finds, and I'm okay with that. This is one of the few fossils I've posted that I can lay claim to finding, and I'm very proud of it.

Sharp teeth,



burkitos said...

Someday I'd like to take a walk out there and see how you find things.

burkitos said...

About your workspace. Functional and compact and close to home...relatively speaking.

Big Papi said...

That would be very fun!

- zwperidi