Saturday, July 11, 2009

Update on Corral Bluffs Survey

I've been searching the 522 acres of Corral Bluffs Open Space for several months now. It's taken me until this past few weeks to really have a plan and a strategy. I've divided the area up into 38 sections, and then I can keep track of where I've been and where I still need to go.
I've found many species of turtles and several crocodiles. I've also found a vertebra from a champsosaurus, a creature similar to a crocodile, but more like a modern gavial (or gharial).
We've found several fossil leaf sites, and Kirk Johnson and Ian Miller from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science have been down to collect leaves several times. I'm still looking for ancient mammal fossils, but so far I haven't had any luck.
The temperature out there can be brutal. My thermometer said it was 114 degrees on the outcrop at one point on Friday. But believe it or not, by dressing right and drinking plenty of water it is actually tolerable. And I've only run into one more rattlesnake. This one I heard before I saw it. It was curled up in a hole, but the shed skin it left behind proved that it was about 4 feet long. The photo I took showed it had 9 rattles.

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