I really enjoy fossil preparation, but unfortunately I don’t get to do a lot of it because there are so many other things that have to be taken care of (like excavations; I know, what a tragedy!). I’ve actually had a little time the last couple of days to do some prep work.
The five bones shown above are all fish vertebrae from Carmel Church; Ward removed them from a whale skull jacket while I was in Wyoming. I have no idea at this point what taxa each represents, although there seem to be at least two taxa represented among these five bones.
The only one I’ve actually prepared is the large vertebra in the center. The other four are all still encrusted with sediment, and have to be cleaned using an air scribe. The large vertebra took me about 3 hours to prep. I often tell visitors that each day in the field results in at least a week’s work in the lab; this specimen is a good example of that.