In January of 2013, the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, in Winchester, VA, transferred their orphan collection to the VMNH. Within this collection, there is a plethora of critters from the Cretaceous of Montana to the Devonian of Virginia largely thanks to the collecting work of John Happ of Shenandoah University and Geb Bennett of SVDM. At Dino Day 2013, the Triceratops jacket from the transfer was opened. Over the course of 1 1/2 years, volunteers have been working carefully and steadily to prepare the specimen. Below is a picture of the jacket when it was opened on Dino Day, along with Alton Dooley and John Happ. Above is what the jacket looks like today. Today, you can see the nasal horn (top right of jacket), part of the nostril beneath it, one of the brow horns, and what is remaining of the frill (left portion of jacket).
Last week, I started one of our volunteers, Chip, on unpacking the fossils still wrapped up and hidden away since the transfer. I will be continuing this process over the next several weeks, comparing what we have to previous records, assigning catalogue numbers, and adding the records to the VMNH database.
There are several ‘gems’ among this collection, including the above trilobite with its compound eyes preserved. The counterpart/mold of this specimen also has preserved the surface texture of the cephalon that is not in tact in the above image. You are looking at the anterior view of Phacops sp., a trilobite from the Devonian of Virginia (scale bar: 5 mm).
You can read more about this collection and how it came to be at the VMNH by reading Butch’s previous posts on the material: