Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Little Protostega is Restored!

A final follow-up on the project that I had mentioned in the last update. The project is "finished" for now, all molding is complete and the first two prototypes have been assembles and packed.

Cast bones and skull restoration before assembly
We molded hundreds of individual bones for this project. Those cast parts were restored, put into subassemblies, then remolded to produce the final cast. The cast preserves all the pathologic and taphonomic detail, including what appears to be puncture wounds from predation by one of the many mosasaurs in the Niobrara. I blame it on Tylosaurus.

Prototype #2 flying by the green screen

Prototype #1

Prototype #1 with curator for scale

Amazingly, the whole animal now goes together from a trimmed cast to a final project in less than a week. The first specimen was given to the Sternberg Museum at Fort Hays State University to accompany the original specimen now safely in their collections. The second cast will be on display beginning next week at the Tucson gem and mineral show, at the 22nd street show. Come by and check it out!

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