Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dinosaur clean up on Aisle 5: A guest post from LKT's mom

As you can guess, I've been too busy to blog, which makes me unhappy. I was going to write something about the very cool trip my parents recently took and then I thought--hey! I'll just get them to write it! Thank you, mom, for being my first guest blogger! (I note that you didn't include any photos of yourself. Hmph.)
An Archeopteryx is thought to be an intermediate
between modern birds and predatory dinosaurs.  

 So what can only be found in Berlin Germany, London England and Thermopolis, Wyoming? Give up? Why a fossil of an Archeopteryx of course.

A few weeks ago we (LKT's mom and dad) spent an amazing week at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis, a town of 3500 people in the middle of Wyoming, with a Road Scholar program learning how to prepare dinosaur bones.

We spent hours and hours hunched over a camarasaurus femur using toothbrushes, water and dental picks to remove mud then transitioned to small hand held jack hammer like tools to deal with the rock or matrix that still surrounded parts of the bone. This was followed by an application of an epoxy to repair and stabilize thin or broken parts.

Dinosaur femur pre-cleaning 
LKT's father engaged in femur cleaning. They paid to do this!

Stegasaurus bones
We got to see the bones for a Stegasaurus  already prepared and laid out ready to assemble as well as how foam casts are used for missing parts or parts too heavy to mount (see below). The hours, days and years necessary for preparing the final displays we see in the museums are many and speak to a dedication on the part of some pretty special folks. We were delighted to be a part of this for a short time.  
Foam casts of bones

More photos from the exhibits at the Dinosaur Museum below:

Awww...mama and baby dinosaurs--how cute!

The Dinosaur Museum in Thermopolis, WY