The Gorgosaurus preparation on this side is now completed. On February 18th, Dr. Philip J. Currie came to examine the specimen and do some research on it. He will likely return and do more once the specimen is flipped over.
The specimen has now acquired a Dinosaur Provincial Park quarry number: the quarry site is now known as quarry 257. The only thing that needs to be done on the Gorgosaurus block now is the addition of a thicker, penetrating glue into all the rock surrounding the bones so it resists the deep penetration of the curing silicone molding compound and hold together when the mold is removed. This gluing will be done on February 22nd and will then be left for a week or so to fully dry while I am engaged in some other work. This means the rock will now be harder on the other side, but recall the glue is acetone-based so I can just use pure acetone to soften the glue as required. Even though the main block is done (on this side), there are still some small blocks that were removed during the initial fieldwork in 2009. These consisted of two blocks, one an epipterygoid (a palate bone) and a long mid-dorsal rib, with another unidentified bone alongside. The epipterygoid (opened jacked shown above)was started today and went quickly. It will be fully prepared out of the rock. A crew was working near the quarry in 2010 and when they revisited the site, they found another bone being exposed by erosion.
Normally we dig 1 metre past the last bone and stop there. This bone was a little beyond that and it was missed, so was collected in 2010. I worked on that bone as well and see now it is an angular- one of the lower jaw bones positioned at mid-length along the bottom edge. It is good to have these skull bones but they tell us the skull will not be as complete on the other (upper) side as the side (bottom) we have been watching on this blog.
Next updates will cover the molding process. I don’t know when this will start as some other Tyrrell staff do that work and they are (or soon will be) experimenting with the silicone rubber that will soon mold the Gorgosaurus.
Dave writes: This is however, the end of the *preparation* series (hence the title) so we are rather drawing a line under this piece given that every practical part of the preparation has now been done and with Phil’s arrival the research phase of this specimen is beginning. While we will add more during he casting process, this is the end for now. We hope you have enjoyed this and any feedback on the series as a whole is most welcome. Thanks!
All photos here and in the series are owned by Darren Tanke and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.