New molding project

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Our molding and casting program has been very active over the last few months, especially since renovations and upgrades to some of our lab equipment has made it difficult to do a lot of prep work. We started a new molding project this week; the dentary of the baleen whale “Sinistra“.

“Sinistra” is our best Carmel Church specimen of the small baleen whale Diorocetus hiatus. It’s especially noteworthy because of a devastating injury in which the left dentary (lower jaw) was broken completely in half, and never fully healed. We decided the broken dentary would make an excellent subject for molding, especially since we do some museum programs on paleopathologies. As it is already broken in two pieces, we’ll actually be making two molds, starting with the back half.

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I would love to mold “Sinistra’s” entire skeleton. In addition to the nearly complete skull, we have 45 postcranial bones, making this the most complete known specimen of Diorocetus, and one of the most complete Calvert mysticetes. That would make it a fantastic centerpiece to the Carmel Church traveling exhibit we’ve been planning. Unfortunately that will have to wait until we can come up with additional funds.

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