Researchers Prepare for a Long Day in the Field

Smithsonian researchers eat a meal in preparation for a fossil excavation
Jorge Velez-Juarbe

Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph. D. Candidate at Howard University and Aaron O'Dea from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on an expedition in Panama to excavate a squalodontid, commonly referred to as a shark-toothed whale, in June 2011.

Before heading out to the fossil locality in Piña, Panama on the Caribbean coast, the team of researchers have a full breakfast at a cantina by the side of the road: roasted chicken, plantains, and some coffee.

Watch a time-lapse video of the dig, peruse a slideshow, and read Dr. Pyenson's account of the Panama expedition on the Ocean Portal Paleobiology Blog.