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Mosasaur Teeth Rescue- The closest I will ever get to excavating

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As suggested by some members of this forum some time ago... I have begun a small excavation project to rescue the mosasaur teeth trapped in a fabricated jaw bone and fossil which I purchased as a child.

Ever since those days I have dreamed of going out into the Karoo and digging up remains of prehistoric animals, but sadly, I was not adept in the sciences and the arts took over my career choice. So, instead of getting a children's excavation kit, why not try and rescue real fossil teeth? 

So with a dental pick, brush and magnifying glass I have begun working into the fabricated layers. I started outside of the direct fossil radius, and have scraped away to reveal the root of the tooth first. My plan is to keep excavating downward so as to remove the tooth from the fabrication for finer work to reveal the tooth.

Any tips on the excavating process? How can I distinguish the point between fabrication and fossil tooth at this early stage?Original fabricationOutline of excavationRoot of the tooth thus far

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indominus rex

I have too excavated real mosasaur teeth from a fake piece. It's not that hard to remove the fake matrix because it is a lot weaker and loose than the actual tooth and there should be an obvious color difference between the tooth's root and the fake matrix. For me all I did was dig the sand around the tooth so it's free standing and then it easily broke off and the tooth was unharmed. I hope this helped a bit.

Regards, indominus rex 


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In my experience "fabricated" matrix will dissolve in water. I once deconstructed a single tooth on an ersatz matrix block (real crown, painted/stained plaster "root" and consolidated matrix) by blasting the piece with a garden hose. Not subtle, took about 30 seconds for the "matrix" to disappear. Good luck, have fun, your mileage may vary. 

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