Last Field Day in the Cretaceous of the Negev

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL — We spent our last Cretaceous field day in our section of the Zihor and Menuha Formations just south of Makhtesh Ramon.  It is a complicated place because of tectonic activity from the Late Cretaceous on, so we spent a lot of time tossing measuring tape off cliff edges to calculate unit thicknesses.  The most exciting moment was when two Israeli fighter jets flew very low through a little pass in which we were working.  The sudden noise and blast of air nearly knocked us down.

We finished our sections, collected our last samples, and headed back to our little house in the afternoon.  Tomorrow we will visit Makhtesh Gadol to the northeast to look at Jurassic rocks which have been studied by previous sets of Wooster students.

Two beautiful fossil shark teeth and a bit of bored oyster Andrew Retzler found during his last visit to the Menuha Formation (Upper Cretaceous) south of Makhtesh Ramon. The teeth are of Scapanorhynchus ("spade snout") which ate soft-bodied prey and had a protrusible mouth. The oyster is bored by my old friends the clionaid sponges, producing the ichnogenus Entobia.

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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