This is a update for Dec. 6-10 and 13-14. Much work has been done on the Gorgosaurus, in fact so much there is little left to do on this side of the block. Virtually all the bones that there are to be found have now been found. New bones since the last update are the pelvis and the base of the tail which only consists of two vertebrae and three chevrons. A meeting was held on December 14th to decide how and what to prepare in the future. It was also decided that this side of the Gorgosaurus will be moulded in latex rubber, the mould removed and then a new support jacket made before the block is turned over and preparation begin anew on the other (top) side. Right now I am mostly dealing with what is called “fine preparation” or “super detailing”. This work is the final stage of preparation. All the bone surfaces are gone over visually and with a finger to find (and feel) the last vestiges of rock or clay stuck to the bones. Small brushes and damp sponges can remove the last bits of clay. Sutures or contacts between multiple bones are highlighted by removing as much rock as is safely possible along their edges. Any repairs are mended. All holes and cracks are patched and filled. Old glue, now often contaminated with sand grains is carefully scraped off and redone as/if necessary. Rock itself is glued or reglued as needed and in places where the rock crumbled away creating seep undercuts, those areas are filled in with epoxy putty or plaster, then textured with an airscribe to look like rock. All this work will take several weeks to accomplish. As the specimen will be moulded, it is important that the bones and rock be solidified as the removal of the latex mould can cause breakage. This breakage inevitably occurs, but all efforts are made to find potential problem areas and deal with them now, rather than have to deal with broken bones later. Postings here will be slower now and likely show the specimen overall instead of featuring certain areas. The pictures here were taken on December 14 with a new higher quality camera and different lighting conditions so they appear much different than prior ones.
All photos here and in the series are owned by Darren Tanke and the Royal Tyrrell Museum