New casting projects

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Earlier this week Ray and I took a road trip to the Midwest to evaluate some possible opportunities for producing molds and casts, which we hope to use to expand the exhibits at VMNH.

Our first stop was at the Joseph Moore Museum at Earlham College, where we met with museum director Heather Lerner. This museum has the most complete known specimen of the giant beaver Castoroides ohioensis. Ray and I spent a day measuring and photographing the beaver, as well as other specimens in the Earlham collection, and we plan to return to Earlham later this summer to begin molding the beaver skeleton.

The next day we visited the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton and met with Lynn Hanson, Bill Kennedy, and Jill Kreig from the Collections Department. Like the Joseph Moore Museum, Boonshoft has a nice collection of Pleistocene mammals including a large part of the skeleton of the giant ground sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii. We borrowed the skull of this specimen (below) and have taken it back to VMNH for molding and casting; I’ll be posting about our progress over the next month.

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You’ll be hearing a lot more about these projects in the coming months. I’d like to thank Heather, Lynn, Bill, and Jill for meeting with us and making our trip so enjoyable and productive.

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5 Responses to New casting projects

  1. accpaleoDoug says:

    couldn’t you find a more complete skull of Megalonyx to cast? Or was this one more accessible? Or was there some other reason?

  2. altondooley says:

    This was the best specimen to which we have access, especially since we will only consider specimens housed in museums. While the skull has some damage, there is a lot of other material from this individual, so overall it’s a very nice skeleton. We’ve also found Boonshoft to be a pleasure to work with.

  3. accpaleo says:

    ah yes, that makes much more sense. will you do the rest of skeleton or just the skull? will you reconstruct the missing skull bits?

  4. altondooley says:

    We are going to reconstruct the missing parts, and we intend to do the entire skeleton.

  5. accpaleo says:

    i see. So what all is there? Cause if you need some filler, the SeaTac specimen is about two thirds complete so there’s gotta be some usable stuff there (yay for whoring out west coast fossils!)

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