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The Amateur Paleontologist

Chalk fossil preparation and reparation

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Hi everyone,

I recenty uncovered from the lower Maastrichtian chalk of Moens Klint a partial but articulated Isselicrinus buchii columnal fragment (15 segments), which also preserves one complete cirrus (one of the many side arms of a crinoid - rare at M. K.). Today, 2 out of 5 of the plates of the cirrus dislodged themselves from the matrix and came loose. What type of glue must I use to fix them back (most efficient and cheap possible)?

Best,

Christian

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Kosmoceras

That’s a rare find for the chalk - congratulations. However, please tell me you have started the desalinisation process?

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The Amateur Paleontologist

I'm afraid not. How do we do it?

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Kosmoceras

I'm afraid not. How do we do it?

Oh dear... if you’re not careful you might lose it. Chalk fossils have a particular weakness against salt - they are very porous and soft. You are going to have to be very careful.

If I were you, I would place the specimen wrapped in a damp cloth in a bowel. Place he bowel in an area of fairly stable temperature and humidity. Gradually add drops of water to the specimen wrapped in a damp cloth to increase the specimen’s water content (do this over a few days). Eventually the whole specimen will be entirely saturated and at this point the whole thing can be submerged in fresh water. Every few hours, or every day I would refresh the water to ensure it is salt free. The larger the specimen the longer you want to keep it in fresh water to remove salt content. I would recommend around a month to be safe.

I would ensure this is completed before reattaching any loose parts.

Best of luck. Any questions just ask.

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