95 million years old and still kicking. Cotton bandage splint fixed with paraloid B67 to the barren underside of a fossil-baring rock. B67 acts as a kind of glue, seeping into the pore space between grains in the rock and binding them more tightly together.
Painting Paraloid B67 onto the barren underside of a fossiliferous piece of rock, which was determined to break into three pieces. This hand sample was first glued with Araldite, before being further treated with paraloid.
Making custom fit ‘straight jackets’ out of expanding polyurethane foam. These foam jackets hug the slabs of rock tightly, helping to control the fracture of the fossil-baring rocks as we split them apart. This way, we have some say in which layers of rock we explore, and can expose their hidden fossils in the controlled environment of a laboratory instead of the often harsh weather conditions (hot/cold and wet/dry) experienced in the field.
A selection from the day’s conservation rounds. Labelling and cataloguing new specimens, supplemented by hours at the microscope; hunting for unique descriptive features on the fossil leaves and cones, or microscopic remains of insects that lived in the 95 million year old polar forest in which these rocks formed.
Extra-happy happy snaps of the fossil conservation process.
Each photograph is captioned with a brief description of the technique featured, but for a romanticised description and more detail of the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ see the rockdoc article Patients.