dinoLab: Day Five

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I finished the Prep Lab work week! I have yet to take the certification test, which can actually count towards a degree in paleontology because work experience is needed. (And I actually think this is for a higher degree like a Masters or PhD.)

Because I finished the the Ischia bone, I started a new bone for prepping. It is a cervical (neck) vertebrae of a sauropod that we think is a diplodocus. The bone is also from BB site, but from 1998!

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Carlos Peredo working on the vertebrae

Side note: Wyoming Dinosaur Center/Big Horn Basin Foundation doesn't always offer certification, but they always need volunteers. Despite only being able to work in the field and bring in bones 4 months out of the year, the center has stacks of bones that will take them decades to work through.

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(The stacks)
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This time I started from the beginning, pulling it out from the cast (tinfoil, not paper mache) that was put on in the field and piecing it together like a jigsaw. So many bone fragments were missing though and I had to use colored epoxy to strengthen the overall structure.

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The bone was initially over-prepped in the field which made it very fragile and hard to put together. I'm glad I came across this bone as an example as I'll be doing more work in the field for the next few days.

Fossils need to be as exposed without chunks of matrix (rock) outweighing it, but not so much that it can't stand on it's own. That work is to be later completed in the Prep Lab. Glue in the field should also be used sparingly. If too much is needed, then it's probably over-prepping. Too much glue is also hard to get off the matrix, which then sticks to the bone, during lab prep.

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