Glue on, glue off – putting a dinosaur back together again

The museum has been open again for a few days now after Ike wiped us all out for a while. And – we’re back at work on the world premiere exhibit Dinosaur Mummy CSI: Cretaceous Science Investigation. Having gotten to know Leonardo so well over the past few months, I’m ridiculously excited about his debut on Sept. 26 - I can’t wait to see what all of you think. The exhibit is being built as I write this, and from even a preliminary walk through, I think you’re truly going to be blown away by this extraordinary fossil. 

Leonardo is so well preserved that you can literally see what he looked like alive – right down to the texture of his skin. As written in the June 2005 Newsweek article that reported the find, “it evokes, far better than any mounted skeleton, a real animal that lived and died.”

Not only can you see what he looked like – you’ll also see inside. Leonardo has preserved, internal organs and the exhibit presents the results of high tech scanning of the fossil.

Our paleontology team is also working on the fossilized remains of another hadrosaur, named Peanut, that was found on the same ranch as Leonardo – and you’ll be able to see their progress as they continue to work on this fossil in the exhibit. (You may recognize Peanut from our earlier video, Mapping A Dinosaur with Dr. Bob Bakker.)

As you might expect from a fossil specimen that has been subjected to massive geologic forces over millions of years, there is some repair work to be done before it can be displayed. In the video below, associate curator of paleontology, David Temple, discusses one of a paleontologist’s most frequently-used tools: glue.

PS – We posted this video on YouTube before the storm – and one of our favorite bloggers gave us a bit of a hard time about the subject matter. I laughed when I read it (touché, sir!) but it also made me wonder – what do you think? The video was created from a bunch of footage shot in one day as our paleo department was initially working on the Peanut fossil, and we thought it was an interesting look into one of the tools paleontologists use - but is it interesting to you? And what other kinds of things would you like a behind-the-scenes look into? Leave a comment to let us know!
Check out the other videos in this series:
The mummified dinosaur Leonardo: too good to be true?
Mapping a dinosaur with Dr. Robert Bakker.
Or, check out our channel on YouTube for even more video.

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