Archive for the ‘Ask our Expert!’ Category

Ask our Expert !

Posted: January 14, 2013 by mgleeson19 in Ask our Expert!

What is the most exciting thing schools have found in the matrix?

Do you think the amount of stuff we found in our matrix is average?

What is your personal favorite thing we found ?

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Hi Dr. Buckler,

We have a question.  We found a GREEN piece of vegetation in the matrix – (we think).  It’s definitely dry, but it also has some color to it.  Is there any way at all that anything in the matrix could be green plant material?  It’s definitely a plant with little leaves.  We attached a picture.  Thank you for any advice on this.

Sincerely,
Maeve, AnnMargaret and Nicole

Green leaf found in Matrix?
Dr. Buckler’s  Response:
Well, That’s Fun!
There is always a chance of some “fresh” material contamination.  We fill the buckets (5 gallon) at the site and try to cover them with lids as soon as possible, but things happen.  If something happened with the bucket that that sample came from —it was opened by accident, the top broke during transport, a big wind came up before it was covered, etc.–there will be notes to that effect on the records for that bucket.  This is yet another reason the number on that bag is so important; if we find something like this, or what may look like a new species not found in the Pleistocene before, etc, we need to immediately go to the records of the dig and make sure there was no “foul play” associated with that bucket, and thus, that sample.
That does look like fresh material – but it is difficult to tell without being there to see it.  If you smoosh it, can you tell if there is any moisture at all?  Chlorophyll (the green in the leaf) can last a long time, especially in woody plant leaves that are waxy, which this looks similar to.  But it is rare.
But there is certainly a chance of it happening – I am very excited to look at this when it comes back!  I’ve not seen anyone find something like this before!
Good Work!
Thank you so much
Carlyn
Carlyn S. Buckler, Ph.D.

Today, AnnMargaret, Maeve and I were looking at some really cool rocks that a almost see through. Mr. Theuer told me they can be angular, sub angular, sub rounded, and rounded. He told me that the more round they are, they have been pushed around by water. I thought this was really cool. More Coming Soon!!! 😃😁

Mastodon Clone?

Posted: November 30, 2012 by Tina Duver in Ask our Expert!

Hi Dr. Buckler,

Mrs. Duver told us you were a molecular geneticist. We are wondering if there has been anything found on this mastodon dig that would allow the mastodon to be cloned? We learned about the baby mammoth from Siberia, but we did not know if a mastodon DNA has ever been collected.  Do scientists try to clone extinct plants as well?

The CHP number

Posted: November 29, 2012 by Tina Duver in Ask our Expert!

Dear Dr. Buckler,

We were wondering about the importance of the number on the bag.  We think it has to do with the depth and location of where it was found.  Do scientists have a map of the area?  Do the numbers tell us how deep or far away it was? If people find something cool in one bag, do you find the nearby bags and look in their as well?

Thank you,

Allendale Columbia 6th grade Science Class