Sunday, May 18, 2014

The beheading of Bernie!!

We have finally done it. The sub-block containing the skull, other bones and two nautiloids has been successfully removed from the main block. Now we can prepare the skull by  removing the other bones & fossils carefully under the microscope or magnifying visor as needed. I'm hoping that it will be complete by Christmas. Of course, I said that last year too.

The skull (or rather half-skull as it's split down the midline) first appeared in August 2013. It took several months to recognize what it was. But it has taken until now to remove enough rock to break it off. Many bones were in the way. Some were removed entirely, some had to remain connected to the block as they are tucked up into the ventral side (underside) of the skull or were touching items that touched the skull. In all, we took out 1/2 skull, 3 centrums, 1 clear limb bone, 1 Coracoid, 1 fin from a neural arch, 2 unknown bones, 2 Nautiloids and only broke 1 rib (Bernie's, not human)

The skull block was undermined enough that numerous holes passed completely under the fossils.

Then my daughter Gloria had the honor of breaking it off the block by simply prying it off with a large screwdriver. Jerry Dodson had his hands on it as it was removed, and cradled it like his first newborn. My wife Peggy was there as a spectator. Then we passed it around, ooh'd and aah'd, and finally went off to celebrate with a late lunch.

Sincerely, Greg Carr

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