• The Living Earth

  • Fossilization in accordance to generations
  • LOCATION : The Living Earth > Excavation and restoration

    Excavation and restoration

    Excavation and restoration
    When searching for fossils it is necessary to first decide which fossils are being searched for. Then the period which the living organism of the fossil loved and the environment sedimentary layer should be found. For example, if searching for dinosaurs then the sedimentary layer formed on the land in the Mesozoic Era which dinosaurs lived should be found. If searching for trilobites then the sedimentary layer of the Paleozoic Era Sea should be searched for. Due to the fact that paleontologists have such geological knowledge they can know all this without preparing beforehand. However if this is not the case then the geologic map should be confirmed beforehand.

    If the location is confirmed then the exposed stratum should be concentrated on and examined and a hammer and such tools should be used to find fossils. In the case of small fossils even a hammer and chisel will suffice. For dinosaur fossils and such large fossils a diamond wire saw or such rock-breaking tool or digging tools. If fossils emerge in this way they must be transported safely to the research laboratory. Strong fossils or those which may be carried can be wrapped in newspaper and placed in one’s pocket but in the case of fossils which could be damaged ii should be arranged so that it does not get smashed while moving. For dinosaur fossils a plaster is used to form a wrap before moving.

    Fossils which are transported to a research laboratory need to have their surrounding rocks removed in order to let their original form emerge. This rock-removing process differs according to the characteristics of the country rock and various methods are attempted. For processes which require smashing the rock into large pieces then a hammer and chisel are used, and for smaller and more detailed processes a dental drill or cutter knife, sculptor’s knife and needles are used. With dinosaur skeleton fossils these methods are also attempted to separate the country rock and the separated bones get put back together using anatomical knowledge to form the original appearance. At this time the in order to strengthen the bones PVA solution is applied to the bones. However due to the fact that fossils rarely appear in their original form the missing parts are usually substituted with a replica. When all the bones are constructed the preparation stage for exhibiting is completed.

    Lastly when the recovery of the skeleton and the part recovery of fossils is completed mollusca parts are recovered and the appearance while living as a living organism resurfaces. Actually, due to the fact that mollusca rarely remain as fossils it is difficult to recover. For us who have never once seen a living dinosaur and have never been to the period which dinosaurs lived in, it is impossible for us to perfectly recover a dinosaur. We can only use the anatomical knowledge and affinity connection to bring the closest appearance. This is the reason the same dinosaurs have different skin adornment and skin color.