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It's the Fourth of July in America and that means there will be injuries. But not by fireworks! Avid fossil collectors will be out there collecting shark teeth and trying to eat hot dogs and hamburgers at the same time. Put them both together and it spells disaster. Predictably, someone will get the two mixed together and a perplexed surgeon, at an emergency hospital, will be removing a fossil shark tooth from someone's tongue. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! Last year I collected a skull from an Oligocene rhino in the Badlands of South Dakota. The skull was 21" and had the mandibles with it. The plaster jacket weighed over two hundred pounds. And, as usual, it was a mile from the nearest area where I could get a four wheel drive truck. I'm sure that my volunteers will curse when they hear the word "Rhino" for the rest of their lives. And did I mention it was the Badlands and 100 degrees? The effort was worth it as later prep work proved. After preparation I cast it for our White River fossil display. It was also on display at the Cypress Gardens Fossil Show. Most knowledgeable fossil collectors know just how much time, and effort, is required when excavating large fossils such as this. Most collectors lack the resources, and experience, to correctly prepare on this scale and as a result there are a lot of valuable fossils destroyed and abandoned. I've found dozens of fossil sites throughout the country where skulls have been found by amateurs and only the teeth were removed. The destroyed skulls were abandoned to weather away. I've made dozens of casts for people who contacted the museum when they found something too big for them to attempt to remove themselves. Most museums will do the same. If you find something that you think is out of your capability to remove, call your local museum. We're the Good Guys!
Location Pennintgon County, South Dakota, USA

Date Added7/4/2008

This plaster jacket contains the skull of an Oligocene rhino (Subhyracodon occidentalis) from the Brule formation of South Dakota. The 10" screw driver at the bottom of the photo shows how large the jacket has to be to ensure that all of the loose bones are collected together.
The prepared skull has about 10% restoration. The museum has a great collection of White River fossil publications. These are invaluable when trying to restore/fabricate missing areas. Want to try this at home? Just ask me for an illustration before you start. Lets do it the right way!
The finished mandible.
A cast made for the display area.
The casts are made from a two part plastic for durability. A plastic surface, with foam interior, can be used when weight is an issue when mounting large objects.
A little paint and the cast is ready for the public to see.

South Dakota Dinosaur Digging
South Dakota Dinosaur Digging
Black Hills Institute Museum
Black Hills Institute Museum
It's a girl!

- 7/4/2008
Reviewer : Down by the banks from
Total Rating : 10
thats incredable i'm speachless Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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