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a couple of newly prepped White River specimens for your enjoyment


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Hi folks-

I have had a good time this past month after work, prepping some White River specimens.  This first one is the smallest turtle I have ever found... it so cute!  This one took me 8 hours to prep.

microturtle.jpg.f9cdac51309f9dd198b17e6c4cac1b6d.jpg

 

This next one is now officialy one of the prides of my colletcion.  Whe I collected it only the top of the skull and a few leg bones were visible.  No field shot, but here it is before prep began.  You can see the skull at the bottom of the block, and some leg bones just above my thumb and a few more to the left of the green and black marks. 

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I took this to the CT scanner in my local hospital and had a look inside.  Here is one slice out of many that the machine took.  (Each slice is 3mm thick, so any bone smaller than that might not show up)  You can see the skull and teeth.  The white oval at the bottom of the skull is the ear opening.  Onthe CT scan, you can clearly see the leg that is visible above my thumb in the above photo. To the right of the skull the slice goes through the front leg.  These were really exciting to find at the hospital.  My friend the CT technician gives me a CD when I leave with three files of slices, one in each of the x,y and z planes.  It is often easy enough to read and figure out what is in there.  At the hospital and on the CD, we can scroll through all the slices and make a movie out of it.  I could not figure out how to export that.   (It is likely not possible as these CT programs are all proprietary).

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After I left, my buddy created a 3d rendering of this fellow.  This also comes on a CD and I can flow through it like a movie.  I can also take screen shots and make stereophotos from them by taking two consecutive frames and glueing them together.  That's what this next photo is.  The vertical is a bit exaggerated because each frame is a bit too far apart from its neighbors to make a perfect stereo image.  If you know how to see stereophotos, enjoy.  This photo is an excellent guide to prepping.  You can see that some areas have excessive red stuff.  These are areas where the rock has more calcite in it and does not CT scan as well, so the machine can't tell me exactly what is going on there.  

stereo.jpg.6e0ef78648ddfc3bc203e1982ec9de77.jpg 

 

And here are a few pix of the final product.  

Hypisodus.jpg.f3a4884838ba584a4925f1ce24f77c4e.jpg

 

Hypisodus is a small (really small) artiodactyl; a distant relative to modern deer.  Not an ancestor, but an offshoot on the family tree.  It had a big eye and huge ear bones suggesting that it was nocturnal.  Unlike any modern artiodactyl, it has five toes on the front leg and four on the rear.  The back leg is condiserably longer than the front.  The font leg on this one is to the left of the lower jaw.  You can only see three toes; the other two are too deep in the rock to expose.  The second front leg is actually exposed on the other side, under the skull.  The back legs are the one folded up by the snout and the other one at the bottom  of the rock.  

Below is a closer view of that back leg.  At the tip, you can clearly see two large-ish hoofs.  They are the ends of two functional toes.  Each functional toe includes that hoof, then two toe bones, then a much much longer metatarsal (the second functional toe is hidden more or less parallel to the one you can clearly see).  Then there are two non-functional toes that probably had dew claws.  You can see the long very thin metetarsal of one of thoes toes here as well as the first toe bone attached to it.  This metatarsal is too thin to show up on the CT scan.  Hospital CT scanners have their limits.

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This thing took me 35 hours to prep.  It was all done under the microscope with a number three MicroJack, and dolomite in the air abrasive machine used at 5 to 20 psi, for those taking notes.  

 

 

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
3 minutes ago, jpc said:

Hypisodus is a small (really small) artiodactyl;

Woah .. man oh man that thing is a beauty. Congrats on the amazing find, but your prep job is the real show stopper here.

 

Cheers,

Brett

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:envy:

:thumbsu:

 

Beautiful fossil, excellent use of technology, and masterful prepping!

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Thanks, guys... Ok, back out to the lab for the afternoon.  (It is supposed to be nice next weekend.  I am planning a the first fossil outing of the year).

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LordTrilobite

That looks fantastic!

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Jeffrey P

Wow!! Now that's truly impressive- the fossil certainly and also how you teased it from its matrix. Thanks for your sharing your prep work; both the beginning and the end.  Cool stuff. Not too late for the FOTM. Big congrats. 

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Super job, well done.  That turtle is awesome 

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Fantastic specimen!

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47 minutes ago, jpc said:

I am planning a the first fossil outing of the year

Be safe (and find great stuff). ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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I very much enjoyed seeing the fossil and reading your interesting account.

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An incredible find, @jpc!  Certainly something we have not had the opportunity to see before.

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Fossilis Willis

Both specimens are amazing! You do a truly outstanding prep job sir, and your account of the process gives amateurs like myself a great insight into professional caliber fossil preparation. 

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Great specimens and prep jobs! I really love the sterophoto too!

:envy:

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Sjfriend

Great post. Love them both but I'm more a turtle guy. That is just cute. The  Hypisodus is exceptional. Your prep is great.

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Shellseeker

:tiphat:Thanks for sharing.  I love everything about this thread. It reinforces why TheFossilForum is such an amazing site. Jack

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20 hours ago, Jeffrey P said:

Not too late for the FOTM. Big congrats. 

Naaa, I won recently.   Give others a chance.  

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IsaacTheFossilMan

Good.Ness. Me!

 

That turtle is adorable, and, that Hypis is something else... Wonderful prep job, congratulations! 

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Fossilis Willis
On 2/28/2021 at 2:57 PM, jpc said:

Thanks, guys... Ok, back out to the lab for the afternoon.  (It is supposed to be nice next weekend.  I am planning a the first fossil outing of the year).

Looking forward to see what comes out of the lab next. Good luck on the hunt, fingers crossed for a trip report.:fingerscrossed:

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MarcoSr

J.P.

 

Great prep work.  Is the turtle a tortoise?  Marco Jr. and Mel find both water turtles and land tortoises on the ranch in Nebraska but tortoises are much more common.

 

Marco Sr.

 

 

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caterpillar

Fantastic JP!

The turtle is very nice. I dream of finding one like this.

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2 hours ago, MarcoSr said:

J.P.

 

Great prep work.  Is the turtle a tortoise?  Marco Jr. and Mel find both water turtles and land tortoises on the ranch in Nebraska but tortoises are much more common.

 

Marco Sr.

 

 

Hi Marco-

I dare say it is both, since tortoise is a subset of turtle.  I think  it is a little Stylemys.  You guys are finding aquatic turtles on the ranch?  That is pretty unuusal for the White River fm.

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MarcoSr
7 hours ago, jpc said:

Hi Marco-

I dare say it is both, since tortoise is a subset of turtle.  I think  it is a little Stylemys.  You guys are finding aquatic turtles on the ranch?  That is pretty unuusal for the White River fm.

 

J.P.

 

I thought your turtle was a very small Stylemys.  I haven't seen one from the ranch that small.  Yes, the boys have a number of aquatic turtles from the ranch.  From looking at the anthill matrix, there is evidence of an Eocene waterway (stream?) that meandered through the ranch with other areas of bank overflow deposits.  I found both salamander and frog fossils in those areas.  I'm only aware of a single partially articulated fish fossil which was also found on the ranch years back.

 

Marco Sr.

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47 minutes ago, MarcoSr said:

 

J.P.

 

I thought your turtle was a very small Stylemys.  I haven't seen one from the ranch that small.  Yes, the boys have a number of aquatic turtles from the ranch.  From looking at the anthill matrix, there is evidence of an Eocene waterway (stream?) that meandered through the ranch with other areas of bank overflow deposits.  I found both salamander and frog fossils in those areas.  I'm only aware of a single partially articulated fish fossil which was also found on the ranch years back.

 

Marco Sr.

Interesting.  

 

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Fossildude19

Fantastic finds and prep work, JPC!

Thanks for sharing these with us!  Love to see your work. :) 

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Clint08

Awesome looking prep work. The CT scans and the technology used was really fascinating!

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