The things that happen to a palaeontologist

Despite my still infact career as a palaeontologist some odd things have already happened to me that I am increasingly having to adapt to as normal – I’ve had dinner with the governor of a Chinese province (him in a DJ, me having come direct from the field), fallen asleep in a dinosaur nest, done a radio interview about a paper I haven’t read, been to meetings where no-one spoke English and I didn’t speak the native language, cast footprints from a road, had my field jackets stolen and had a hundred strong audience for an excavation.
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However while many of these things get sprung upon you, you can at least do something about them (usually). This picture sadly does not really convey the difficulty of the excavation but it should be clear that we were excavating a very large jacket. The trouble was that there was a large and very fast sandstorm blowing that filled in the trench as we dug it and blew dust back over the areas we were trying to clear. As a result I retreated to the trench to try and escape the whipping sand and actually clear the dust off long enough to see what it was we were trying to dig up. Memo to readers: don’t try and dig in a sandstorm.


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