Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM


MCQUEEN, David R., Systematic Geology, Ltd, Box 421, Mangham, LA 71259 and DRAKE, Linda F., Educator, 3901 Stevens, Plainview, TX 79072,

Eight (8) E. scotti individuals from the Pleistocene Tule Formation of West Texas, have been studied for over 5 years, with emphasis on the taphonomy and biostratigraphy and research on mineralogy, burial geochemistry and exploration potential for metals. This stratigraphic section contains abundant gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) both as an infilling of bones as well as crystal masses in the formation itself (some of which are over 30 cm). We are exploring the geochemistry (pH, Eh) of the metal-rich, saline waters which we theorize flowed around and through E. scotti remains during and after burial. Our research has unearthed numerous clues to their taphonomy, both from the standpoint of paleontology and mineralogy. What appears to be a herd of animals was rapidly buried with minor disarticulation and significant gypsum infilling. The comparison below further supports the metal exploration potential that taphonomy holds. All the metal values are in parts-per-million(ppm) using Standard Method SW6010B. The first value is from the grid location: site 7, A6 in our “Horse Hill” locality in West Texas. The value in parenthesis is from a known mineral rich clay collected by McQueen in June, 2012, while a guest geologist in Israel on an archaeological dig (Gutfeld and Price, Co-Directors). The black clay was collected from a depth of 2 meters, reference grid squares (EF10&11,G10&11) at the Qumran dig near the northwest sector of the Dead Sea. The extensive mineral rich stratigraphy of the Dead Sea has been known since antiquity. Data=TX (Israel): Fe 88.3(13,744), Cu 27.1(4.1), Al 18.7(11,425 = 1.1%), Ni 6.25(39.9), Ba 3.45(253), Zn 1.85(155),Mn 1.70(219), Mo 0.90(3.2), Cr 0.75(65.3), and Be 0.05(0.55). The comparison of the gypsum in E. scotti fossils to one of the richest metal areas on earth (East Africa Rift to Dead Sea) has yielded statistically significant results. Note that the Texas copper value is 5X the value from Israel. Who would have thought that a detailed look at fossil horse taphonomy would yield a mineral exploration tool.