Fourth sloth discovered

Greg McDonald is here  cataloging Megalonyx bones from the site.  He found  a right fifth metacarpal of a Paramylodon harlani that we had misidentified as a Megalonyx metatarsal.  This is the first confirmed record of a Paramylodon in Iowa.

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Good news and bad news

Sloth Advisors, Volunteers and Friends

Let’s start with the good news. The NSF has awarded the sloth project $20,000 to continue excavation, conduct a detailed osteological analysis of the remains, start exploratory DNA analysis of the adult and two juveniles and provide for an outreach intern to maintain the sloth website and  design teaching materials focused on the sloth analysis. NSF regards this award as preparatory for submittal of another proposal for comprehensive analyses of the sloths including a series of chemical analyses on the bone as well as detailed studies of associated seeds, pollen and depositional environments at the time the sloths died. We are pleased to continue our association with NSF.

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More rain

It started raining last Friday and continued through Sunday.  Officially 3.33 inches.  Flash flood warnings for all of Page county.  We don’t need a photo to know there’s at least 15 feet of water over the site.   Dave

New photos from the site

From the picnic area on top of the south bank.

These photos just arrived courtesy of sloth-digging veterans Pam and Marvin Belknap.

The water is high but not nearly as high as we expected after all the rain the area has received.  Holmes thinks we may be able to go out and dig in July .   He’ll talk to Bob this weekend and send an update to our sloth rapid response team next week.

Looking upstream, North.

Looking downstream, South.