Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The skull, the half skull and nothing but the skull (so help me God)

Well, we have finally gotten all the extraneous stuff off the skull. I think we totaled 6 Nautiloids, 2 ammonites and 8 bones that were attached to the skull when it was removed. The only thing left not of the skull is a part of the last nautiloid that can't be removed intact. That will have to be 'blown away' since it touches the skull interior bone in multiple places. It can't be worked free without damaging the skull - and the skull is ALL-IMPORTANT! I have put in about 50 hours removing all this stuff so far.
The best thing about removing part of the nautiloid is that the interior septums of the chambers can be seen. These nautiloids do not have a completely smooth septum - they are partially convoluted like ammonites. However the siphuncle is toward the middle of the shell, where ammonites have theirs at the very outside of the shell. This proves they really are nautiloids. These will be speciated later by someone who knows what they are doing.

So anyway here are some more pictures of where we are. Interior view, anterior (front) to the left. The remnant nautiloid is the funny lump over the middle of the ruler.
 Here it is rotated,. The three projections at the posterior end show up really well. One is in the center. It will be paired with one on the other side of the skull, perhaps will be the base of the occipital condyle where the backbone hooks to the skull. The outermost one is where the jaws hinge. There appears to be a lightly ossified cartilage area on the inside of this part of the bone. The center one - who knows?
 Here is the outside of the skull - you've seen it before.
 This too - shows the teeth in the jaw line better.
 Here's a close up of the three rear projections. The last centrum was nestled between all three of these and occupied over 1/2 of the volume. It  was difficult to remove it without harm to the skull.
 And here's a view from the rear looking forward. The U-shape of the hollow skull is visible in the dark bone, which is the rear rim of the skull with matrix removed.
I'm looking forward to removing the rest of the matrix and seeing what the rest of this thing looks like!
Sincerely, Greg Carr

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