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KimTexan

My adventures in bison prep

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Ptychodus04
18 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

 

Yes, we're English.

This is what we do. :)

I’m not English but that’s what I do also! :P

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JohnBrewer
2 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Yes, we're English.

This is what we do. :)

Indeed :)  

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Sagebrush Steve

Okay, back to the topic at hand.  @KimTexan, what exciting new info can you share with us?  :popcorn:

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Ptychodus04

@Sagebrush Steve, always the responsible one. :P

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Ptychodus04
2 hours ago, Sagebrush Steve said:

 

Steve-Color.jpg.83eb78d037e4868635774d8494d4d080.jpg

I knew you couldn’t hold out! :P

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Sagebrush Steve
30 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

I knew you couldn’t hold out! :P

I had to dig well back into my archives to find one of me with a beard.  I was ordered to shave it off soon after that photo was taken.

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KimTexan

New info.

Well I was going to do as Kris suggested and make a dilution of what was in the jar. But I can’t get the dang jar opened. :P

I must have spilled some of it around the rim: I’m sure I can turn the jar upside down and drizzle acetone in the rim to dissolve it.

 

So I made a new batch. I put the acetone in first then sprinkled and swirled the B76 in. It worked much better. I let that sit for a day. Swirling occasionally. This one was a wide mouth jelly jar.  

Yesterday I dropped a couple small verts in the jar and left for an hour or so. The look really good an fairly well soaked. They don’t have the high gloss. Then I began dropping feet and other small leg bones in and doing the same thing.

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KimTexan
6 minutes ago, Sagebrush Steve said:

I had to dig well back into my archives to find one of me with a beard.  I was ordered to shave it off soon after that photo was taken.

I was going to say you look a bit younger there than I thought you were. I just chased it up to the tiny thumbnail pic of our avatars.

 

My avatar pic seems to have the opposite effect. I don’t know how it works, but I’m photogenic in some weird way so that I look younger than I am and better than I actually do. I’m concerned when people see me in real life they’ll think I photoshopped my profile pic. :P

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KimTexan

So tonight I decided to baste a few bones with the remaining B76 solution. I was much happier with how it went on this time. I could actually see it soaking into the bones. When I painted the broken edges it soaked in and the bone morphology wasn’t obscured because the B76 just gummed up on the surface. I kept painting and drizzling in on the broken edges and vascular pores to try to get it inside the bone and it just kept soaking it up.

 

That is reassuring and gives me a little more comfort that the bones won’t break easily. The pelvis was found broken up. There are cracks in numerous places that look like they were on the verge of breaking again, but now I feel a little more comfortable that they won’t just fall apart on me.

Kris had said it needed to have almost a water consistency and that is basically what I did. I added acetone till I couldn’t see B76 eddies in the solution when I swirled it. It was no longer hazy in color. There might be a slight haze to it, but it is almost completely clear. B76 is still present. I can see the slightest bit of gloss on the surface of the bones, but it’s barely noticeable.

 

I’m pleased with the last batch.

 

I’ll take some pics onces things have dried a little.

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KimTexan

I can’t remember if I mentioned that I had contacted Tom Vance who is a North Texas authority on Texas bison. He responded and said he would be at the Dallas Paleontological Society monthly meet this week on Wednesday. I’m not sure what he can tell me. He already said until I’m able to take measurements of the skull we can’t confirm the species. I knew that was the case. 

I have been wanting for someone to show me how to take the measurements involving the mandible ramus. I don’t know where to measure to and from. I imagine he can help me with that.

 

Friday I am scheduled to drive over to Weatherford College and help with the mammoth prep they’re doing and also show Lori some of my bones and hopefully get advice on how to prep some of the skull.

 

I also hope to take the turtle plastron over to UT Arlington Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center for an ID on the turtle on my way back from the mammoth thing. The head curator emailed me his cell phone # and told me to call him before I head that direction in case he’s out. 

I imagine it is modern, but I’ll never know unless I get the low down on it. It would be cool to find Pleistocene turtles too.

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JohnJ
3 minutes ago, KimTexan said:

I can’t remember if I mentioned that I had contacted Tom Vance who is a North Texas authority on Texas bison. He responded and said he would be at the Dallas Paleontological Society monthly meet this week on Wednesday. I’m not sure what he can tell me. He already said until I’m able to take measurements of the skull we can’t confirm the species. I knew that was the case. 

I have been wanting for someone to show me how to take the measurements involving the mandible ramus. I don’t know where to measure to and from. I imagine he can help me with that.

….

Sounds like a busy week.  Do you plan on taking the skull to let Mr. Vance see it?  

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KimTexan

These are some pics of the foot bones I did last night. These were ones not found articulated. They had fallen from the bank.

There is a slight gloss on a couple of them, but it isn’t that noticeable.

9A514A5C-1BD3-4B3C-A314-5D12E6535269.thumb.jpeg.0f13d39b75c1666a97894b88757276d1.jpeg

 

@Ptychodus04 and @RJB

These we’re bones that were exposed to the elements for a bit before I came along.

I do have a question. Some of them the periosteum has cracked and pulled away from the bone and looks ready to flake off. Should I apply a little cyanoacrylate under the flaking pieces? Or is there something else I should do?

6D1F8FDC-CAAA-413D-9BDE-19920998D0A1.thumb.jpeg.6aaf24acd3d0a96337fb561478ae9970.jpeg

 

C1095C7F-FA58-4A92-B5EF-BD3960A4C0D4.thumb.jpeg.f674441a88cc28e4cf7bc3e2ef254138.jpeg

 

 

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KimTexan
46 minutes ago, JohnJ said:

Sounds like a busy week.  Do you plan on taking the skull to let Mr. Vance see it?  

I don’t plan on taking it. I have not cleaned or stabilized it at all. It’s mostly the back half of the skull that’s bad off. It was exposed to the elements for a while. Also the tree roots were growing through it. It’s pretty fragile. The parietal and supraorbital, meatus and premaxila areas are the worst. In the sinus area, the bones are so thin and fragile. Those may not hold up well in any specimen. I honestly don’t know.

I wish I could take it with me.

I’ve waited to start on the skull until I understand B76 better in many aspects.

 

I plan to work next on the rib pieces that are fragile. I deem them to be most likely to be the least valuable of fragile pieces I have. Then I’ll work from least important to most important till I get to the skull. After the ribs are 3-4 vertebrae that need TLC.

I figure by the time I work on those I’ll have gained a better working knowledge of B76 and prep techniques . Then I’ll move on to the 2 scapula and finally the skull.

 

The scapula look pretty challenging from what was exposed. The broad ends were broken into many small fragments. I’m not sure I have the needed patience for that.

 

I may be foolish to even attempt all this. I figure you’ve got to cut your teeth somewhere at some point or another. I never imagined it would be on something as amazing as this is for little ol’ me.

 

If I were to donate it to somewhere I’d donate it to my alma mater. I still haven’t determined what I’ll do with it.

 

I’m just curious. Has anyone else on here found this big of a percentage of a late Pleistocene to early Holocene animal? Bison, mammoth or otherwise?

 

How common or rare are such finds?

Fruitbat found a mostly complete one in the NSR, but it didn’t have the skull. I’d like to know what others have found in terms of mostly complete animals.

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Ptychodus04

@KimTexan, I would use cyanoacrylate in this situation, unless the cracks are pretty tight. If they are, I would touch a brush with consolidant to the crack and let it wick in. Do this until the crack doesn’t draw anymore solution in and you should be good to go.

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KimTexan
11 hours ago, JohnJ said:

Too bad...it seems like a valuable opportunity to have a professional offer an opinion.  If it was mine, I would try to find a way to transport safely.

I was looking at it this AM trying to figure if I could do something to be able to transport it.

I know this is so not professional, but when I got it home I put it in my largest lasagna pan. I have no clue what I’m doing. I just thought it would provide a solid foundation to rest in, it would catch dirt and any fragments that may fall off. No eye rolling at my lack of professional paleontological finesse please.:P 

These are 2 shots of the back part of the skull with the horns as it is currently. I believe this is oriented so that the back of the skull is down and you’re seeing the bottom side. The snout and mandibles would extent upwards.B6E78AF3-5B23-4FC9-8A10-EA8397C438D5.thumb.jpeg.6edbc889c0e778b3bb23ba38596f5dff.jpeg

 

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Yes it is sitting on my dining room table at the moment with all the bison bones.

 

The other part of the skull is still wrapped in foil. It’s 3 times as heavy as this part.

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DPS Ammonite

To transport to DPS meeting to show to Vance, wrap skull (and other bones) in plastic or foil. Then place in large bucket or plastic tote surrounded by newspaper or blanket to cushion.

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Ptychodus04
1 hour ago, KimTexan said:

No eye rolling at my lack of professional paleontological finesse please.:P 

There's not shame in engineering a solution! I like cardboard grape flats (from Costco) just because they are lighter and you can get a consistent size to stack them as long as your bones aren't too big. They are pretty heavy duty as well. Also, when they get damaged, you can throw them in the recycling bin.

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KimTexan
18 hours ago, JohnJ said:

Sounds like a busy week.  Do you plan on taking the skull to let Mr. Vance see it?  

Oh that’s just the start. I’ve got teens. Orthodontist appointment, hair cut, counselors appointment. Then there is helping my daughter catch up on homework since she was out with the flu for 4 days. 

 

Being a parent is incredibly humbling work and a refiner of character. Marriage did that refining thing too. How often you have to drop everything to go get them unexpectedly.

Life is too busy. There are many days where I think “I wish I had chosen the botanist career path” while simultaneously daydreaming of a slower paced less stressful life.

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KimTexan
5 hours ago, DPS Ammonite said:

To transport to DPS meeting to show to Vance, wrap skull (and other bones) in plastic or foil. Then place in large bucket or plastic tote surrounded by newspaper or blanket to cushion.

It’s 17 inches across so a bucket wouldn’t work. I have a solution worked out though.

 

Dou you think that portion of the skull is diffident or should I take the other too?

The other part is quite heavy. I kind of made a makeshift cast with moist soil to keep bones in place. It is still in that wrapped in foil.

I plan to take the one mandible that I removed so he can show me how to measure the ramus measurements.

 

@Ptychodus04

Thanks for the affirmation or assurance. I keep feeling pretty inadequate and ill prepared for the task of bison extraction, prep and conservation/preservation. I want to do it. I’m excited and eager to learn, but I’m doing a lot of winging it.

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KimTexan

Ok so I attempted to remove a lot of dirt from the skull. It is riddled with cracks. I’ve tried to stabilize them. 

While removing dirt from inside the cranium I came across a number of very small gastropods. I’m wondering if they could be diagnostic as to age.

I didn’t attempt to was them. They are quite small. Only a few mm across. There are 2-3 types. I know you can’t see any diagnostic features with these pics, but you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.

 

First 3 I found. Old toothbrush for size. There are 2 varieties here.

2BA480E1-A5EF-4EB8-BF9D-7522EC258438.thumb.jpeg.1c23f2fe86a356955705826ecbe1f0c9.jpeg

 

All of what I’ve found so far. The white one top center that’s upside down is a 3rd variety. I’m afraid to wash them. They’re so fragile. You can see fragments that fell off. So they’re not holding up well.

E29E6664-8350-47C4-835D-5D297C9B764D.thumb.jpeg.0539a1fc74da74a5de6a15ee17b30211.jpeg

 

Should i I put a drop of thin B76 on them?

I wrapped them in tissue and put in a prescription bottle. I’ll take them with me tomorrow.

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DPS Ammonite

They are freshwater snails. Some of the ones with nearly flat spirals might be Planorbis sp.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planorbis

4021C7E8-B7EE-4D5C-BD8C-23DFD436EB11.jpeg

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KimTexan
9 hours ago, DPS Ammonite said:

They are freshwater snails. Some of the ones with nearly flat spirals might be Planorbis sp.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planorbis

4021C7E8-B7EE-4D5C-BD8C-23DFD436EB11.jpeg

Thank you John. That is helpful to know.

Ok. Wiki says they are found Jurassic to present so that isn’t terribly diagnostic. Maybe the other 2 may be helpful.

 

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DPS Ammonite
Just now, KimTexan said:

Thank you John. That is helpful to know.

Ok. Wiki says they are found Jurassic to present so that isn’t terribly diagnostic. Maybe the other 2 may be helpful.

 

They are relatively modern and fragile. The Cretaceous rocks in the area contain no freshwater species of snails. If you look around you may find some freshwater clams/mussels. NSR has lots of freshwater clams.

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