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A Trichophycus hunt

on . Posted in General Ichnology

Another grand day out on Bell Island, though a little on the nippy side at -10oC.

Stimulated by Dario wanting to collect a bentonite (to help with stratigraphic correlations), and me feeling the need to initiate Tiff into the department with some fieldwork, we had a grand day out.

 grebes nest

Bell Island was doing a good impression of Spitzbergen today with icy winds off the ocean, rocks glazed in rime and icicles hanging off the cliffs, but somehow you don't notice so much when there are trace fossils to see (well I don't anyways).

 Sampling of a thin bentonite, the weapon of choice being a key according to Dario, went smoothly enough. It appears to be a mafic bentonite, so there are a couple of possible local sources. Greg Dunning is going to help us with the fingerprinting if there are no datable zircons apatites etc.

 Then on to one of my favourite places to show off ichnology, Grebes Nest.  We had a happy couple of hours poking about, discovering in the process a hybrid Rosselia/Asterosoma/Zoophycos trace which has me scratching my head.  I added to my growing collection of Trichichnus/Polykladichnus (I think I might need some help with kicking that particular foible).  Perhaps when Adirenne Noftall has finished with her reconstructions I will be happier to leave them in the field.



As part of Tiff's MSc she is working on Trichophycus, of which there are many at Grebes Nest.

We were struck by the diversity of scratch patterns, and branching patterns among other things.

Lots of food for thought for the summer when Tiff will work with Colin Brisco to do some collecting and image analysis.

Our brains were too frozen for much more than observation I think as the wind whippped down Conception Bay.

Other highlights were some beautiful Diplocraterion habitchii and the abundant Cruziana and Rusophycus that were so beautifully described by Fillion and Pickerill.  The high fiedlity of preservation of interface trace fossils that is so common in the lower Palaeozoic is striking in contrast to the preservation in younger strata.

The trip ended with us missing the ferry requiring us to spend an hour at the fish and chip shop. So ended another hard day at the office.