Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Still prepping the Avaceratops

Though I had a good time attending the SVP meeting in Raleigh, NC this month, it put me a little behinf on prep work. Jacob was able to join the preparation frenzy and between the two of us we've gotten a lot done.

Nasals, showing strange asymmetrical suture
Getting the individual bones prepped out of their jackets is giving us some valuable insights. Though the bones are well preserved, each one is getting its own custom made Hydrocal support cradle to keep them from getting damaged during storage.

The deep and short left dentary, with all teeth
We've uncovered the brow horns now, prepped out the left lower jaw, and finished the nasals. If you're in town you should consider stopping by to get an up-close look at the material. It's some strange stuff!

Strange centrosaurine brow horn, resting in its cradle

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Avaceratops Prep Update

We're on to the big jacket!
Current map of confirmed bones. Base image courtesy Scott Hartmann
Thanks to Scott Hartmann and for permission to use his image of Avaceratops' skull.

The big jacket, still in preparation
I haven't had an opportunity to expose everything in here yet (there are both postorbital horns hiding deep in this jacket) and I have removed 4 epoccipitals and an epijugal from the mass already, but here it is! Shown in all of its partially prepared glory you see both premaxillae, as well as one each squamosal, jugal, and quadrate. I also have 3 mystery bones comprising a possible parietal or exoccipital (wingy-thing part of the braincase), a possible palatine and another super thin feathery plate.

The next step is to repair my air abrasion unit, cut down the jacket a little bit, and then look for those horns. I'm avoiding removing anything else since everything is so jackstrawed. Combine that with some surprisingly thin and fragile bones, and we could end up with a real mess on our hands.
Bones piled on other bones

Fragile and strangely shaped bones, these take a long time to prepare, only 25-30% done