Chapter

Putting Dinosaurs in Their Places

in The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780226074726
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074733 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226074733.003.0013
Putting Dinosaurs in Their Places

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Fossil preparation, the costly and time-consuming process of freeing fossils from their rocky matrix and getting them into shape for study and display, posed a number of novel challenges for museum paleontologists. Finding adequate space to accommodate dinosaurs was often a serious problem. New fossil materials arriving from the field required room for temporary storage and dedicated laboratory space. Adapting a basic fossil preparation lab to the needs of dinosaur paleontology involved considerable extra investment in equipment and space. Finding, training, and retaining skilled fossil preparators and other support staff became increasingly expensive during the second Jurassic dinosaur rush. The sheer volume of work, and its unique demands, led to increased specialization and professionalization among the science support staff. This, in turn, drove higher standards for the work, leading to important lab and fieldwork innovations.

Keywords: dinosaur fossils; fossil preparation; museum display; paleontology

Chapter.  9962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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