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Bone guy

Xiphactinus jaws advice

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Bone guy

I need some advice here. It's been a dream of mine to have a xiphactinus jaw, and here I have two. They are both dentaries: right and left side. (Let me say I will not be purchasing these for probably a good few years.) I wanted to know if it's possible to separate them and remount them to make an inflated lower jaw? I would probably have to send them out to have a professional do it because I have a feeling this is a job for the masters. 

IMG_1107.PNG

IMG_1108.PNG

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Ptychodus04

The short answer is maybe... they should be able to separate but there are qualifiers. I’ve removed some really thin bones from on top of others but the preparator has to have some room to work. For large, wide bones such as these, it is hard to safely separate if there’s little to no matrix between them.

 

If the matrix is relatively soft, the job isn’t too awfully hard. I scribe away as much as possible then use a long carbide rod to dig out further. Once you get enough removed, the bone will typically “pop” off the other.

 

After all this, the mount is nothing!

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Bone guy
43 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

The short answer is maybe... they should be able to separate but there are qualifiers. I’ve removed some really thin bones from on top of others but the preparator has to have some room to work. For large, wide bones such as these, it is hard to safely separate if there’s little to no matrix between them.

 

If the matrix is relatively soft, the job isn’t too awfully hard. I scribe away as much as possible then use a long carbide rod to dig out further. Once you get enough removed, the bone will typically “pop” off the other.

 

After all this, the mount is nothing!

Cool thanks for the response! I can probably get the seller to give me pictures of the top and bottom of the specimen.....so you could see if there is any matrix in between the jaws. Again, probably will be years before I can get something like this (ain't cheap :P). 

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snolly50

One inquiry which may have considerable import - Has the piece been consolidated? If so, how so? A soaking that allowed the thin void between the halves to fill might seriously complicate an effort at separating the twins.  If that scenario applied, I suppose a total dunk in acetone might prove salutary. However, mechanical efforts may encounter problematic conditions if the halves are "glued" together.  

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Bone guy
3 minutes ago, snolly50 said:

One inquiry which may have considerable import - Has the piece been consolidated? If so, how so? A soaking that allowed the thin void between the halves to fill might seriously complicate an effort at separating the twins.  If that scenario applied, I suppose a total dunk in acetone might prove salutary. However, mechanical efforts may encounter problematic conditions if the halves are "glued" together.  

You have a point. Im not sure if the piece has been consolidated I will have to ask the seller. As for the pieces being glued together I think they were compressed together by geological pressure but again I will ask the seller about this. 

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snolly50
9 minutes ago, Bone guy said:

As for the pieces being glued together I think they were compressed together by geological pressure but again I will ask the seller about this. 

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant "glued" by the consolidant, if it was applied. If the piece was consolidated by soaking, the plastic would have penetrated the space between the halves. If it was just brushed on the surface, then it should not impact any effort to separate.  

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Bone guy
8 hours ago, snolly50 said:

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant "glued" by the consolidant, if it was applied. If the piece was consolidated by soaking, the plastic would have penetrated the space between the halves. If it was just brushed on the surface, then it should not impact any effort to separate.  

Ok now I understand. 

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RJB

Wow!  Nice fossil.  and what scary question mark for seperating these!  Would love to see and hear the entire prep story if you do decide to purchace this.

 

RB

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Ptychodus04

Another factor that can complicate this is distortion. If there’s little to no matrix between the two, geologic pressure will deform the bones to the point that they fit together like 2 puzzle pieces. This increases the surface area that the two have in contact with each other, increasing the likelihood that one or both will break during separation.

 

The plus to all of this is that a good preparator is also a good repairman! (or woman).

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caldigger
47 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

The plus to all of this is that a good preparator is also a good repairman! (or woman).

We'll just call it "Repairperson" for now. :)

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TyBoy

I would leave it as is.  I think they look great without risking breaking them.  Together they are a better story

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Bone guy

I think @TyBoy has a valid point. It's not smart to risk breakage like that. Plus they do kinda look cool together. 

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Bone guy

Plus I'm kinda liking this one more. It's a few hundred bucks cheaper, a couple inches longer, and it really conveys that classic bulldog look xiphactinus is so well known for. 

 

Thanks for all the advice guys. I hope others can read this thread and learn from it. :) 

IMG_1109.PNG

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Troodon

Thats a nice one are the front teeth orginal?  I like the pair just unusual and cool looking.  I would also not separate them indeed a much better story.  Purchase both you need uppers and lowers :D

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Bone guy
13 minutes ago, Troodon said:

Thats a nice one are the front teeth orginal?  I like the pair just unusual and cool looking.  I would also not separate them indeed a much better story.  Purchase both you need uppers and lowers :D

Yessir front teeth are original. Close up photos reveal some feeding wear! :D 

 

not sure about purchasing both, would take a big bite (haha) out of my savings :D 

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Ptychodus04
8 minutes ago, Troodon said:

Thats a nice one are the front teeth orginal?  I like the pair just unusual and cool looking.  I would also not separate them indeed a much better story.  Purchase both you need uppers and lowers :D

 

That's right! All he needs is a right maxilla! Once upon a time, I had the opportunity to prep/restore/mount a full set of X. jaws. That was awesome!

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Troodon
10 minutes ago, Bone guy said:

not sure about purchasing both, would take a big bite (haha) out of my savings :D 

Yes but what more important food/roof or a set of extraordinary fossils..that a slam dunk answer..:ighappy:

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Troodon
6 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 

That's right! All he needs is a right maxilla! Once upon a time, I had the opportunity to prep/restore/mount a full set of X. jaws. That was awesome!

That would be very cool

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Ptychodus04
2 hours ago, Troodon said:

That would be very cool

Sadly, the photos were apparently lost in a hard drive crash a few years ago. It was a cool display for sure.

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Xiphactinus

I would not separate them. As Ptychodus said, they are smashed together so much that there will be some distortion. They most likely won't look right if you try to articulate them. Also, those teeth tend to be VERY fragile. You would undoubtedly pop some off.

 

I was lucky enough to find a completely disarticulated skull that I put together 3D. It didn't have any teeth in the dentaries. That's about the only way that will work.

 

Not a great photo, but you get the idea....

3D Xiph.JPG

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Bone guy
51 minutes ago, Xiphactinus said:

I would not separate them. As Ptychodus said, they are smashed together so much that there will be some distortion. They most likely won't look right if you try to articulate them. Also, those teeth tend to be VERY fragile. You would undoubtedly pop some off.

 

I was lucky enough to find a completely disarticulated skull that I put together 3D. It didn't have any teeth in the dentaries. That's about the only way that will work.

 

Thanks for your input! And that skull is awesome :P 

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