Incredible Triassic Site - Solite Quarry

Wow. I'd like to bring your attention to this recent post by Alton Dooley on the Virginia Museum of Natural History's blog "Updates From the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab". This quarry is famous for its exquisite preservation, especially of Late Triassic insects. Small "reptiles" such as Tanytrachelos, especially articulated ones, are extremely rare to unknown from the Chinle Formation due to the lack of strata with this type of preservation. In Petrified Forest National Park we get fine-grained shales that preserve mostly plant material (leaves, stems), as well as the occasional invertebrates (unionids, isolated insect wings, and our best find, a fresh water lobster!),; however, these layers are seemingly devoid of vertebrates (although I still try from time to time, something I like to call "playing the slot machine").


  1. Thanks for the plug, Bill. We should be excavating at Solite into next week.

    Unlike the Chinle, we unfortunately have no body fossils from large vertebrates at Solite (although we have theropod and possible phytosaur tracks).

  2. We (Gretchen Gurtler and I) were recently fortunate enough to visit Alton Dooley, VMNH, and the Solite Quarry during the SEAVP conference. We both were fortunate and found Tanytrachelos specimens in the field. We were able to view a lot of fossil material from the Solite Quarry in their collections. It was quite a different experience compared to our work in the Dockum Group.


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