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nush.wadia

Determining storage space requirements

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nush.wadia

I am an architecture student from India and my research dissertation and thesis are based at the Raiyoli site in Gujarat, India, known for its vast nesting grounds and several sauropod egg specimens discovered through the early eighties. It was also here that the Rajasaurus Narmedensis was first discovered. 

My design aims to create a new system including a live dig site, preparation labs, casting/moulding labs and also serving as a fossil repository for the secure storage of the fossils excavated at the site since no such facilities are present throughout the country. 

I would like to know the appropriate methods for categorization of specimens at such a site where a vast number of specimens, primarily eggs, petrified wood and a few bones have been found. Is there an existing method of categorization based on the size of the specimens and the equipment/tools required for the same?

 

P.S.- My knowledge in palaeontology is limited to the questions relating to the spatial requirements for such facilities. 

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CBchiefski

Hello and welcome @nush.wadia! An ambitious undertaking, but certainly worth it for the incredible Raiyoli site. There are several good case study examples for working with eggs, I will try and look them up for you. For categorization, most institutions use specimen numbers, these numbers can then be referenced for information on the specimen and for referring to it. The majority of eggs found in India are either Megaloolithus or Fusioolithus. Have you spoken to Ashu Khosla with Panjab University? He has published on the eggs found in India and may be able to assist. Generally, for eggs and most fossils, it is important to maintain a stable environment, that is no major changes in temperature or humidity. Eggs often do need physical support so placing them in a foam or plaster jacket is a normal long-term storage method here in the USA. Tools to prepare eggs are basically the same, but the ways to consolidate them, that is glue, can be different and depends on how fragile the egg itself is. Am very happy to see a fossil repository finally being created in India, there are many amazing fossils found there.

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nush.wadia

Hello and thank you @CBchiefski ! I apologise for the late reply but my architectural research consumes a great amount of time. The site itself has currently yielded sauropod eggs and bones, the rajasaurus specimens and also a few petrified wood trunks. I have contacted Prof. Ashok Sahni who was involved with the first excavations of 1982-83 at the site and he was able to provide me with valuable data, not only paleontological but also the political and governmental outlook that has guided much of my design. Is it important to store the specimens according to taxa or do the specimen numbers eliminate the need for such larger categorization? I share your enthusiasm for the protection of our great fossil resources but unfortunately, this is currently only an academic project and there is no guarantee the concerned authorities will help me take it further.

Thank you once again. 

Edited by nush.wadia

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DPS Ammonite
16 minutes ago, nush.wadia said:

Is it important to store the specimens according to taxa or do the specimen numbers eliminate the need for such larger categorization? 

Most collections that I have seen are organized by taxon especially if only one taxon is present per rock. If multiple taxa of fossils occur in each rock then organizing by locality or geological unit is useful. Organization by specimen number only seems odd.

 

I organize my fossils (mostly self collected) by formation since I have good provenance. 

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nush.wadia

I think categorization based on locality would suit the site in question as well since multiple taxa occur in the same rock. 

Thank you! @DPS Ammonite

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CBchiefski
On 2/25/2019 at 12:12 PM, nush.wadia said:

Hello and thank you @CBchiefski ! I apologise for the late reply but my architectural research consumes a great amount of time. The site itself has currently yielded sauropod eggs and bones, the rajasaurus specimens and also a few petrified wood trunks. I have contacted Prof. Ashok Sahni who was involved with the first excavations of 1982-83 at the site and he was able to provide me with valuable data, not only paleontological but also the political and governmental outlook that has guided much of my design. Is it important to store the specimens according to taxa or do the specimen numbers eliminate the need for such larger categorization? I share your enthusiasm for the protection of our great fossil resources but unfortunately, this is currently only an academic project and there is no guarantee the concerned authorities will help me take it further.

Thank you once again. 

You are fine @nush.wadia, I fully understand as my own research takes up the majority of my time. Am glad to hear that, Ashok should be able to provide better insight than I can on the site, the politics, and other details.

How a collection is cataloged and stored depends on what the goal of the collection is, for example, a teaching collection is normally organized by taxon so there are examples of the variations and it is easy to spot each difference between groups. A research collection, on the other hand, could be better organized by site so that it is clear from looking at just that one part of the collection what is preserved in an area and the age of all those specimens. Organization by site locality can also be nice long term because often the scientific names for an animal or egg will change but where those were found will never change. As mentioned by @DPS Ammonite, organizing based on the geologic formation is also a decent way. I have never seen a collection organized by specimen numbers, so while there could be one like that, it is not common. In short, it really depends on the goal of the collection, many museums have a small teaching collection and then the main collection.

I agree and understand there are many politics when it comes to a project like yours but am glad to see it and with any luck you will find support from the government.

Edited by CBchiefski
typo

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