Sunday, October 23, 2016

Borrego Days Open House

-from the Head Curator

Beautiful blue skies in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Mammoth skull in plaster cast
Saturday, October 22 and Sunday October 23 are the Borrego Days Open Houses at the Anza-Borrego Foundation's Visitor Center, Archaeology and Paleontology labs.  Saturday, Head Curator Anne Morgan and Curation/Education staff Edgar Bernal Sevilla drove out to Borrego Springs to attend the open houses and talk with some volunteers and specialists.  Many of their volunteers have also been volunteers at the Desert Museum and helped curate large collections of artifacts here.

Volunteers removing part mammoth tusk from plaster cast

The theme for the Paleontological Society this year was "Ancient Horses of Anza-Borrego"
and experts were on hand to show visitors bones of the ancient horses who lived in the park region, as well as comparisons with bones from modern horses.  Several volunteers were working on carefully removing a mammoth tusk from its' plaster cast and talked to Anne and Edgar about the techniques paleontologists used on excavations.  The method of removing animal bones by covering them in plaster to protect them during transport hasn't changed since the early days of paleontological work!

Giant tortoise shell, upside down, still partially in plaster cast
A giant tortoise was also having its' cast removed.  The tortoise was thought to have lived about 2 million years ago, and it was on its' fifth year of having the cast removed.

Fossil echinoid discovered by Morlin Childers and given scientific name  Schizaster morlini in his honor

Edgar was especially excited to meet volunteer Linda Gilbert, who has been working on the recently acquired Morlin Childers paleontological collection.  Since Edgar is working in the Childers archaeology collection recently brought to the Desert Museum, the two had lots of stories to share! Staff were also honored to meet George T. Jefferson, the park's (now retired) paleontologist who talked with them about mammoth bones found by IVC's George Miller in 1986.

It was great seeing so many people out celebrating Borrego Days and enjoying discovering more about the amazing stories found right there in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We hope some of you got the chance to go out and participate!

Edgar's selfie with a saber-toothed cat 

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