Last Saturday Tim and I successfully turned over the Diplodocus scapulocoracoid; not a trivial matter, as there are bunches of ways to screw up and damage or destroy the bone. This morning I removed the remaining part of the field jacket. Since we usually open jackets from the bottom, this is the original top surface of the bone.
The white stuff covering the surface of the bone is gauze. This is a technique we used to use to help stabilize the bones (this specimen was collected in 2002). Basically, we would cover the top of the bone with gauze and then paint glue over it. The idea was that the gauze would help hold loose pieces of bone in place.
It actually works reasonably well, as you can see in this specimen. However, it turns out that we can stabilize the bone about as well by just using adhesives without the gauze (although I think it takes a bit more glue that way). Moreover, it turn out that it’s really time consuming to remove the gauze, as it often has to be removed one fiber at a time, so we generally don’t use this technique anymore.