However, fossil preparation continues. One new addition is one of my favorites - a "Saber Tooth Salmon"! These large salmonoids lived about a million years ago, and swam up rivers in the western US (none have been found in Canada or Alaska to-date). They were 8-10 feet long (2-3 meters) and weighed 400 pounds (180Kg). he best remains have come from a gravel quarry near Madras Oregon, the ancestral river bed of the Deschutes river.
A very complete fossil skull and articulated backbones came up on an Ebay auction earlier this year. I was lucky enough to purchase it for the University of Oregon, which has the holotype and two other specimens. This specimen was collected in 1980 by Reuben Holleman, a local fossil collector. He prepared it and kept is safe for almost 38 years before selling it as part of his collection liquidation. I did some more preparation of the skull, removing the majority of the remaining matrix and making archival cradles for both skull parts. This really is the best specimen of this animal in the world - I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!. It is on display at OMSI for the next few years as the U of Oregon has no place to display it. The UO and I are working on dating the site, and OMSI and the OHSU (Oregon Health Science University) will be working on CT scanning/printing to make copies.
Here is the skull in all its glory, about 20 inches (50cm) long - that's a 6 inch (15cm) ruler beside it!
|Articulated backbones and a fin|
|Still more ribs|
|And another set of ribs (well, what do you expect from a 2 meter animal?)|
|Bones as displayed in a case at OMSI|
|Front ends of the jaws, the original on the left and 3D print on the right|