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Hey guys, I wanted to seek help on how to prevent my fossils from degrading such as: Mammoth Hair, dug from Siberia. As soon as they are thawed, the hair begins degrading. Tar Pit Fossils: Just worried that they will sooner or later start decaying. Pyrite Fossils: Once crystals begin growing on them, they can soon, turn into dust. Any suggestions?
I have a bunch of petrified/coalified wood from Mazon Creek and have started a process to decrease the reactivity of the pyrite and sulphur in them. Thought I'd describe the process and results in case it is helpful to anyone else. Some of them are fairly quick to form decay and even create lovely hairy crystal gardens of possibly Pickeringite or Halotrichite. Here is an earlier post about that. Here's some images of the cool crystal hairs that formed awhile back. Anyway here's my process that I've started on a few items. Not at all sure if this is the best process but thought I'd try it as an experiment and see what happens. It is an adaptation of recommendations by Reiner Mielke. Any suggestions or critiques would be great. I'm currently at Step 4 with the first batch and debating about Step 5. Step 1: Neutralize in water with some baking soda. (I notice my pieces really fiz a lot and some of the material breaks a part in this reaction so one may need to be careful with fragile items.) Step 2: Dry in the oven at low temperature for several hours. Step 3: Immerse in WD-40 to displace all the water. Step 4: Let dry Step 5: Two options and I haven't decided between the two: One option is to immerse in motor oil. (This is the Mielke approach) The other option is to spray with Fluid Film (a lanolin product in a spray bottle to prevent rust) Then let dry.