With the overburden out of the way, I traded in my hammer for a skinny awl and needle. Parts of the fossil layer was made up of much softer dirt. In addition, the area was full of bone fragments. Not being able to locate the fossil without digging into it first, I had to dig with the utmost causion. The process was slow and meticulous, especially as temperatures continued to rise into the mid-nineties. The positive was that fossil could be found everywhere. It was nothing like the needle in a haystack scenario I had envisioned before. Bone fragments were usually a white granite color while teeth were dark brown or black, both easily distinguishable from the reddish brown hue of the dirt. Most of the fossils belonged to phytosaur, a crocodile ancestor that walked the earth more than 200 million years ago.