Holmes and I just got back from a quick trip out to the site this weekend to prepare for an expedition next month. We got rained out Saturday but found some bones while we were moving dirt Friday including the other “baby” scapula, and a couple of large rib pieces–juvenile (probably from the “toddler” ) and something small TBD.
We moved the pile we created in December about 10 ft. closer to the river into the area where we dug 2 years ago and started clearing a new area about 10 ft. X 40 ft., north of the last dig. Sloth-digging veteran, Will Mott, Council Bluffs, IA operated a small tracked Bobcat that Jeff Evans, Evans Equipment Rental, delivered to the site. Will gave a blade he designed for the bucket a good workout. He proved he could shave off very thin (~1/2″) layers of clay with precision. We spotted this bone pocket following behind him watching for signs of the blade uncovering anything red (like the bones). The clay was mostly the oxidized brown color like we encountered for the first time in December, with only small thin patches of our familiar blue-gray. We thought that might mean bad news for any bone discoveries but it fooled us. These bones are at least as well preserved as those we found in the blue-gray.
This could be a good digging model to follow in the future. As we get further from the main bone deposit it may allow us to use our volunteers and budget more efficiently and cover the most ground. There’s a lot more sloth still hiding out there! Photos to follow in a couple of days. . . . Dave