It’s funny how fossil preparation works sometimes. You can have two fragments that you’ve tried to fit together over and over without success, and suddenly they just fit. That’s what happened with the diplodocid left ilium (hip) shown above. This bone was collected in a single jacket, but the bone was pretty fragmented (this is medial view, so the opposite side from the image at top):
This offset portion ended up causing me all kinds of problems. It took some time to get all the fragments put back together, but then I couldn’t get the reconstructed offset piece reattached to the main part of the ilium. My volunteers and I literally worked on this piece on-and-off for months, trying all kinds of different positions without success.
Last week I was lamenting that I was going to just have to give up and put the bone away; I need the sandbox for other specimens and the ilium was causing projects to pile up. While I was talking about this I was idly trying to fit the fragment in place, not really paying close attention to it, and *click* – it fit. Often when you finally get two fragments correctly aligned, you can feel them lock into place. At last, we’re finally ready to move this bone out of the lab!
It turns out that the top half or so of the ilium was not preserved, as you can see by comparing the image at the top of the page to the one below. Even so, this is a nice specimen, for which we also have the pubes and ischia, as well as some of the sacral vertebrae.
On a housekeeping note, I’ve added a search field to the home page and the archive page, that will search all the text on this site. This was something several readers have suggested to me, and I think it will make the archives much more useable. So, if you have additional suggestions for how to improve the site, please keep them coming!