Fossil preparation requires an uncommon degree of adaptability and patience. Museum preparators bring to the task diverse sets of skills from such backgrounds as art, paleontology, and archaeology. They generally learn their craft on the job, drawing from related fields such as object conservation to adapt modern glues, solvents, and other archival materials to stabilize fragile areas or repair damage.
Watch as Justy Alicea, a preparator at the American Museum of Natural History, works on a specimen and offers a tour of the Museum’s fossil preparation lab. And for more about fossil preparation, read this story, which originally appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of the Members’ magazine Rotunda.
A special specimen table featuring items from the Museum’s world-famous dinosaur collection will be traveling to the Fanwood Street Fair and Craft Show in downtown Fanwood this Sunday, June 12, from 11 am to 5 pm.
Jonah Choiniere, a scientist from the Museum’s Division of Paleontology, will be on hand with touchable specimens, including dinosaur teeth and claws; “prehistoric poop,” (fossilized dung known as coprolite); a horn dinosaur arm bone; dinosaur skin impressions; shark teeth; and more.
After hundreds of submissions and thousands of votes, the winner by a landslide is: Mame!
Runners up included Neckita—a nod to her extraordinary 30-foot neck, the longest relative to body size of any known dinosaur—and Mei Mei (“mei” means beauty in Chinese).