Post from FossilPhiles student Katelyn,
10th Grade, Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy
The most challenging fossil I’ve worked on would be the ulna of a specimen we call Fortunate Son (a new species of plant-eating Dinosaur from Utah), primarily due to the fact that I broke it. It wasn’t a difficult piece in its shape or structure, I just had a hard time in positioning it so that the pictures would be of enough quality to create a nice 3D model. Jack and I had successfully taken pictures from every other angle without much trouble but the last position was a bit tricky to set up. It was also getting close to quitting time and I was eager to go home, neither of which made the situation any easier. Obviously, when it broke I was devastated, but because of it, I’m more cautious and appreciative of the work it takes to ensure the good condition the fossils are in. Breaking one of the bones made me realize why it is helpful to have 3D models of the bones so we don’t have to handle them in order to study them.
I also got to learn about the work it takes to repair broken fossils, which is not easy, folks. In the end, the model turned out fine with the pictures taken before it broke and you can hardly tell anything happened just by looking at the fossil.