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July 18, 2012

By Trish Weaver

Research & Collections

After two and a half days on the road, the big squid hunt had finally arrived in Quinter, Kansas. Dan and I were excited to be back in Kansas, the site of last year’s big squid hunt’s big success. The geology here is very different from that of North Dakota and Manitoba. Up there we were in black shale, the Pierre Formation, with outcrops that had very limited exposures, usually road cuts. Down here in Kansas we are in the badlands with miles and miles of exposures of whitish chalk, the Niobrara Formation. Time to get Kraken!

We had two days in the chalk with our colleague from the Sternberg Museum. Within a half hour of day one we knew something was fishy in Kansas. We found various pieces of vertebrae, jaws or caudal fins of four different types of fish, including something called a plethodid fish. I am not…

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