Fieldwork

Chucal

Chucal

Chucal is located in the Altiplano (high plateau) of northern Chile at an elevation nearly 4,500 m. As far as we are aware, it is the highest vertebrate fossil locality in the western hemisphere. It is also among the highest vertebrate fossil sites in the world. The area was at a much lower elevation when its fossils were […]

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Quebrada Honda, Bolivia

Quebrada Honda, Bolivia

The fossil site of Quebrada Honda is located in the far south of Bolivia, about 40 miles (60 km) southwest of the city of Tarija. It sits at an elevation of about 11,500 feet (3,500 m) in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes, the mountains that form the eastern border the Altiplano. The fossil-preserving rocks […]

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Cerdas, Bolivia

Cerdas, Bolivia

The fossil site of Cerdas, Bolivia, is located on the high, flat plateau in the middle of the Andes Mountains known as the Altiplano. This makes it a challenging place to do fieldwork. The fossil-producing beds range in elevation from about 12,500 to 13,000 feet (3,800 to 4,000 m), which means the air is thin and […]

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Laguna del Laja

Laguna del Laja

A recent area of focus in terms of fieldwork has been the fantastic sequence of strata in the Laguna del Laja area of Chile. These rocks, which are set against a backdrop of a beautiful lake and a picturesque volcano, preserve a diverse array of mammal fossils. We have collected several hundred specimens from the […]

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Field Photos from Madagascar, Aug.-Sept. 1998

Field Photos from Madagascar, Aug.-Sept. 1998

In 1998, a group of us from the Field Museum in Chicago and the University of California – Santa Barbara left for a one-month expedition to Madagascar. Representatives of these institutions had visited Madagascar previously, primarily to prospect the Isalo II Formation, a group of rocks of Middle to Late Triassic age (225-230 million years […]

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Field Photos from Central Chile, March 2002

Field Photos from Central Chile, March 2002

In March of 2002, we planned a short trip to south-central Chile to prospect some exposures near Laguna del Laja that John, Andy, and Reynaldo had visited the previous year. This was my first trip to central Chile (my previous trips were to the northern part of the country), so I was looking forward to […]

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Field Photos from Northern Chile, Sept. 2001 and Aug. 2004

Field Photos from Northern Chile, Sept. 2001 and Aug. 2004

In September of 2001 we made a second trip to the northern part of Chile to prospect some new sites and do additional collecting of the early Miocene (Santacrucian) locality of Chucal. We made the trip a little bit later in the year (i.e. not in the middle of austral winter) in the hopes of […]

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Tinguiririca

Tinguiririca

Perhaps the most important of our Chilean localities is Tinguiririca, which is located in central Chile near the town of Termas del Flaco. In the transition between the warm, equitable climate of the Eocene Epoch (54.8 to 33.7 million years ago) and the cooler climate of the Oligocene Epoch (33.7 to 23.8 mya), numerous ‘archaic’ […]

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Other Central Chilean Localities

Other Central Chilean Localities

Many of the other fossils we have discovered in Chile come from a variety of localities in the central part of the country. All of these sites apparently sample the Abanico Formation, a group of rocks that was deposited mainly between about 40 million and 15 million years ago. This particular formation tends to preserve specimens in great […]

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Peru

Peru

I am interested in the extinct mammals of Peru for many of the same reasons I am interested in  the extinct mammals of Bolivia. Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with a French and Peruvian research team led by Pierre-Olivier Antoine on a project searching for mammal fossils in the eastern part of […]

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