Not quite according to plan

Today we were out at the local site known as Gomez, trying to hunt down some elusive marine reptiles in a Late Jurassic section. Plenty of beautiful ammonites were in evidence, lots of bivalves and oysters, some wood and not much else. Still the exposures we were checking had been well covered and really the trip was about working out the viability of a long term dig to get at the layers below after the bones we know are there (several nice skeletons have already been recovered).

Here you can see one of the beautiful vistas available to those with a camera, and below a nice group shot of myself (right), Dino Frey (left) and our colleague and ammonite expert, Wolfgang Stinnesbeck (here doing his best Fidel Castro impersonation in the centre).

With little worth digging or exposring, to pass the time, Dino and I started turning over rocks to look for some local wildlife – I am still far more of a biologist than palaeontologist (in my own mind, if not on my CV) so this is just my kind of thing, especially in a country I have never visited before. I was rewarded with my first exposure with the famous balck widow, to my delight.

Dino then found a nice large and aggressive centipede.

And we rounded off the trip with a killer bees nest. How nice.

So after a trip out to find vertebrate fossils, all we were left with was a series of lethal inverts. Given how spiky the flora was already, I have to commend Mexico on the anti-palaeontology style of it’s wildlife, it is rare you meet an environment so dedicated to the art.

5 Responses to “Not quite according to plan”


  1. 1 Julia 11/09/2008 at 4:37 pm

    Well with that black widow, that’s another field site added to the List Of Places PB Won’t Visit Without A Man With A Large Stick!

  2. 2 David Hone 12/09/2008 at 1:12 am

    Yes, that’s true – there were plenty of other species too, but I was genuinely pleased to find a black widow. Hopefully we’ll dig up a rattler or two and a solifuge to make my trip complete. It’s a real bonus that Dino like me will happily spend as much time looking for wildlife as fossils, especially in such a great environment for reptiles.

  3. 3 Traumador the Tyrannosaur 14/09/2008 at 4:24 am

    Those are some cool critters to run into.

    All you really need is a snake like you say, and a scorpian to round off the dangerous critters… well okay and a shark of some kind would seal the deal ;p

    Good luck hunting!

  4. 4 Nathan Myers 17/09/2008 at 3:17 pm

    I have read a claim by a field naturalist that you can make yourself immune to scorpion venom with the help of a centipede: pulp the centipede, scratch your arm, and wipe the centipede ichor on the scratch. I haven’t tried it.


  1. 1 Guest Post: Dinosaur excavations in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, USA « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 04/12/2010 at 9:07 am

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