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Live From the Labs

Monday, July 29, 2019

Palaeo Learning Lab

The Palaeo Learning Lab has been a hive of activity over the past 3-4 months with lots of bookings for the fossil prep programs. This has meant lots of new megafauna jackets being opened and prepared and cradled ready for acquisition into the ENHM collection. We have also seen a large increase in our family prep program where families or individuals can do our 1 hr guided tour and then prep for an hour concurrently. 

Dinosaur Lab and Dinosaur Prep

In the Dinosaur Lab, Robyn and a group of 6 foundation volunteers have been preparing caudal vertebras from titanosaur Zac. forms part of our tour display. Throughout the last quarter, we have had two new volunteers complete the 10-day preparation training & are now  Honorary Fossil Preparators. Welcome to the team, Rebecca and Valerie!

Rebecca Washbrook Receiving her honorary Fossil Technician certificate for completing 10 days of Preparation.









Megafauna Lab and Microfauna Prep

Our Honorary Microfossil Processing Technician (HMPT), Steve Young, stayed with us again during April & May & toiled his way through more bags of Eulo megafauna site sediment. The sieving process is labour intensive but it is well worth spending the time on this process considering the amazing microfossils that Steve is discovering. Some sites yield more microfossils than others, but the particular one Steve is working through at the moment is rich in its diversity yielding a variety of teeth, limb bones, jaws, fish scales & various vertebra.

Steve also attended week one of the Dinosaur Dig as our artist in residence and has left us with some great images as a record of the 2019 Dig, participants and the processes involved.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Holotype?

A holotype is a valuable original specimen that describes a new species.  It is a term used to describe a specimen that is the first known of its kind anywhere in the world.  A holotype can be any type of fossil, and it serves as the name-bearer of the species.  Even if a better specimen is found, the holotype is not superseded.  These are rare and exciting discoveries, which help fill important gaps in the fossil record. 

Every animal and plant that is scientifically described is represented by a holotype.  If a scientist wishes to study the unique traits of a species, it is usually the holotype specimen they study.  The holotypes are the crown jewels of any museum collection.  These priceless specimens need to be stored and conserved at standards that meet the Code of International Zoological Nomenclature.

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