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It's a girl!

During one of my trips to South Dakota I had the pleasure of spending a few days collecting in the Badlands with the local Federal Paleontologist. We were walking together in a dry stream bed and saw the tip of a Titanothere mandible sticking out of the wall. Without a word she starts excavating it. I figured she wants it for herself so me and my volunteers start helping. We get it half way exposed and she says " This will make a fine addition to your museum. I was shocked! I was there to find small, articulated skeletons for mounting. This thing was "HUGH"! She had assumed that I would take it and now we were at a point of no return. Normally, we would take a GPS reading and put the fossil in a data base for other groups with permits. But now that it was exposed we had to take it. Even if we covered it back up it would wash out and fall apart during the first rain storm. We finished plastering it and then spent the rest of the day trying to find a path back to the truck. My boss was elated when I brought in the finished mandible. But then again, he was here in his air-conditioned office while the worker bees were sweating our .........

Location Pennintgon County, South Dakota, USA

Date Added7/6/2008

The red arrow points to the creek bed where the jaw was found. The seventh rule of fossiling is "The larger the fossil, the greater distance it will be from the truck!"
This is how the jaw looked when I found out that I was the proud parent. "It's a girl!"
The finished product. The white ruler is 6".
Another view. This is only about half the size of a titanothere mandible I excavated back in 2005.
The front teeth were missing. They were washed away prior to us finding it.

Mammoth Hot Springs, SD
Mammoth Hot Springs, SD
South Dakota Pierre Shale
South Dakota Pierre Shale
Museum of Geology in Rapid City
Museum of Geology in Rapid City

WOW! - 7/21/2008
Reviewer : Martijn from Norway
Total Rating : 10
Great story, and amazing find! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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