Rib update (that’s an odd title?)

Just thought I’d show the end result of the neat hadrosaur rib my friend Jeff found a coupe of years ago on a dig with me out in Montana. Jeff came by the fossil workshop a couple of times to work on his find that we we not sure what it was. It was in a lot, A Lot, of pieces. I do like a puzzle (made of bones or otherwise) and was glad to advise a little and help a little to figure out what it was and how to put it back together. Jeff did a good job on the collection of it by capturing it in its original position as he found it and then gathering all the tiny bone scrap found all around the piece. Low and behold it turned out to be a delicate, 22 inch long rib that remarkably went back together with only a few holes where bone was missing.

After the first day, Jeff had put this much together from 10-12 (?) pieces; clearly a rib head.

He and I worked on it another day and found that many pieces did seem to go together. It was turning out to be a good piece – in fact good enough that I cursed him for finding it instead of me!

The rib head is to the left and we’re stringing together quite a bit of the small shards of bone. Maybe it will all go back together?

And after I played with the tiniest pieces left over it really seemed to come into shape…

Look at all those small pieces still laying about – possibly fit back in place?

Here’s the end result with some restoration added by mixing up some epoxy putty and shaping it into some of the voids left over. Serves two purposes – helps hold whole thing together and fills gaps so the specimen appears more whole.

Finished piece all glued together
And here after epoxy added to largest gaps. Ready for display at Jeff’s home. Museums typically paint over restoration efforts (the epoxy) to help the repairs disappear into the specimen.

Now you see how my friends treat me out in the field on digs – they swarm in and find good finds! Good job Jeff.