Friday, November 11, 2011

Daspletosaurus prep restarts: this time with skull bones

While I was away soaking up pathogens at SVP in Las Vegas last week, paleotech Jacob Jett has been busy preparing some of the jackets from the weathered edge of Pete III's excavation. The bone was in difficult shape to begin with (earning the nickname "The pixelated Tyrannosaur" at SVP) before seeing several hundred Montana freeze-thaw cycles, making this prep work one of our greatest challenges to date. However, results are here! Skull bones so far include both quadrates, a jugal, both quadratojugals, a spenial, pterygoid and possible surangular, with more to come. No toothy bits yet though.

The left quadrate. Actually recognizable!

Dorsal vertebra #1, giving you an idea of the sheer size of Pete III. Transverse process span is 15 inches (38cm)

Surprise! Manual phalanx!
We still have many jackets (including the majority of the big 4-ton monstrosity) to prepare, however we're confident that the majority of the skeleton and perhaps 20-30% of the skull is here. Check back for more updates!

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