I was shocked to discover that it has been over a year since I last mentioned the sauropod femur sitting in my lab. In fact, since I first announced that we had opened the jacket, I haven’t done a single blog entry on this specimen. Admittedly, preparing this bone hasn’t been a high priority for me, with my lab filling up with whales and plants. But we have done some work on it. with various volunteers cleaning various bits and pieces.
This week, high school student Courtland Lyle from The Steward School has been interning in the lab, and he’s taken a shot at this femur. The femoral head (the projection on the left, near the paintbrush) was encased in a huge mass of gypsum. Removing it has been complicated by the condition of the bone, which is in pretty rough shape on the surface. Even so, Courtland has so far been able to remove about 2/3 of the gypsum around the femoral head. I think we’re not too far from completing the posterior side of this bone and flipping it.
I’m still not sure what taxon this femur represents, but to my relatively untrained eye Diplodocus seems to be pretty close. If any sauropod workers are reading this, feel free to jump in and correct me.