Our very first Palaeontology Excavation Project in Krasiejow (Poland) is completed - quite spectacular surprises happened during our stay there! To begin with, we were invited to participate in Summer Field Workshops organized for Students of Palaeobiology from Opole University. During numerous field excursions we worked in wide array of habitats.
In "Odra" limestone quarry in Cretaceous sediments we found a very well-preserved remnants of Teredidae bivalves, related to present naval shipworm. This material is so valuable that we will be co-authors of a scientific paper published by Professor Elena Yazykova (head of our research) and Professor John Jagt. During an expedition to Carboniferous strata exposed near Walbrzych we also found an intriguing specimen of a fossil fern. Anthonie, who specializes in this subject, hasn't seen it before. If it is indeed a new fern species, it may be named after Joanna's name!
The last days were spent digging at our camp base in Krasiejow, that is now a research complex of European Centre of Palaeontology. Unlike in many projects of this type, we were not only allowed, but encouraged to perform very advanced tasks and work with fragile details. Professor Adam Bodzioch and more experienced Students showed us, step by step, how to remove upper layers of soil with pickaxe, go through deeper strata using our geological hammers, distinguish bones, vertebrae, scales, teeth and concretions and extract them. Together we found several Phytosaurus teeth, mandibles of Metoposaurus, many concretions, coprolites as well as some scales. We also worked in the laboratory, where, inch by inch, we meticulously prepared Metoposaurus skull that will be presented in a museum!
On our last day we explored the Jura Park Krasiejow, a theme park adjacent to research complex, to which, as Volunteers, we had free and unlimited access for entire length of our stay.