Reply To: Case Miller's Original Post

Homepage Forums Fossil Prep Tips & Tricks Forum Case Miller's Original Post Reply To: Case Miller's Original Post

Jon Cartier

@rleder, @case-miller, @john-christian

Some of the Mosasaur teeth that come straight out of the North Sulphur River are extremely brittle. Sometimes they come out fine in the matrix but most times the teeth are extremely fractured and explode when removed.  Putting PaleoBond Field Consolident or diluted white glue on the fossils prior to removal is helpful if the matrix is dry, but in the lower levels where the Ozan layer is, is often constantly very wet during the prime hunting seasons.

If you get a tooth that exploded into cubes when removed despite your best efforts, here is what I do.

1. I wrap the wet broken pieces in heavy aluminum foil. sometimes to keep it stable and not make it worse, I will collect a handful of fine grain mud and pack it around the pieces after soaking it in white glue or PaleoBond Field Consolident .

2. When I get home and let it dry out, I get it under good light and my dissection microscope. Any magnification is better than none. I take the largest free piece of tooth enamel and soak it with low viscosity PaleoBond penetrant stabilizer. (40CPS). I soak up extra glue with a rolled up section of paper towel so it does not create thick glue areas that prevent the pieces from fitting back together. Once it dries, I clean all surfaces with the tip of a new Exacto blade. it makes cleaning inside each of the vertical tooth grooves much more manageable. The thin layer of glue will peel off the enamel without too much trouble and it even helps lift some of the dirt and sediment from the exterior enamel of the tooth.

I repeat this process with each piece of the tooth, cleaning and stabilizing each one at a time. as I find sections that fit together, I test fit and work them to fit as tightly together as possible. Then I will use the penetrant stabilizer to glue them together. many of the pieces are as small as 1 mm.

Over time the pieces assemble into a tooth that is all or mostly complete.

I have enclosed a few pictures of an exploded Tylosaur Mosasaur tooth from the Ozan in the North Sulphur River and the progress toward a reassembly.

Jon Cartier


You must be logged in to view attached files.