I have prepared yet another ilium - I think that is about 7 in total that we have found. Most all are different sizes from the different animals. The ilium is one of the three types of pelvic bones in reptiles. They are the ilium, ischium and pubis. In mammals these three bones are fused together to form the pelvis, but in reptiles they are separate bones (6 total, 3 per side). These ilia (plural of ilium) look rather like seal scapula, being a thin fan-shaped bone with a thickened knob at the base of the 'fan'. Here is a picture of the ilium as it was being prepared, compared with a 3D replica of another one prepared a couple of years ago. The current one is much smaller.
Here it is after being prepared and labeled with the UO number.
And here is a top view, showing how thin it really is. Much of this bone is 1 mm thick or less! It makes it really challenging to prepare them, as you can imagine. However, it is finished and safely up in Alaska with about 135 other bones I have prepared.
I have a whole cluster of backbones I'm working on. So far there are 5, one is a triplet in a tight cluster that I probably won't be able to dissect, as they are too nestled together. Like all the other backbones I have ever found, they are not articulated and not sequential, and probably not even from the same animal. Pictures with the next post.
I have just begun to do a major 3D printing project. I am going to be printing up 3 complete print sets of all the bones I have prepared. One set will be for me, one for OMSI, one for the U of Oregon. (I figure the U of Alaska can print their own as they have a 3D printer.) I have prepared, scanned and labeled about 135 bones as of this posting. Just printing out the bones directly is about 400 pieces. I figure this will take me about 4-5 months to do them all. Additionally, about 110 of these bones are not backbones, so there is a corresponding mirror image bone on the other side of the animal. If I print out the mirror images as well I'll end up printing about 700 bones! Lots of printer time! I just print one bone at a time. I've never had a lot of luck printing multiple objects at the same time. It seems that something goes wrong with one print which screws up the other ones as well. And it really doesn't take much longer as a 3 object print takes 3 times as long - it is just the setup that takes longer.
Here's a picture of the printer in operation. It is just about finished printing out a limb bone that I have been told is a radius. I like the fact that I can change the color of the LED lighting to match my mood!
Sincerely, Greg Carr