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How do you identify dinosaurs you find?
A drawing of how an oviraptorid embryo may have looked.
A drawing by Museum illustrator Ed Heck, showing how an oviraptorid embryo may have looked curled up in its shell.

After we get a specimen to New York, it is cleaned and prepared by a team of technicians. Then our research group begins to describe it. Description means just what you think, only very detailed. We draw pictures, measure, count bones, and describe in words. It takes time to describe a specimen, especially if it is a fossil that has never been seen before. After we describe a specimen, we name it. The description is then published in a scientific magazine called a journal, so other scientists can learn about what we've found.