Harley excavating a Cretaceous turtle
Although we mostly collected microvertebrate fossils by quarrying and screenwashing, Harley did collect this larger specimen, a soft-shelled turtle from the Late Cretaceous. After uncovering enough of the top to discover the size of the specimen, he trenched around the edge (leaving a generous margin) and then made a plaster "jacket" over the top and sides, to keep it from crumbling apart. When the jacket dried, he pried it loose underneath, then flipped it over. The whole thing weighed about 30 pounds, although after preparation in UCMP's lab it is much lighter.