Loading the Skull and Mandibles
September 26, 2012
Monday, September 24
Dan is back! He arrived this morning with Snow's "chariot" (the U-Haul truck) from Juneau. The 8 ft. x 20 ft. vehicle will transport the entire skeleton from Glacier Bay to Maine this Thursday. The goal for this afternoon is to get the fragile skull and mandibles loaded in the truck. Once the largest pieces of the skeleton are loaded, Dan will build a wooden box, or framework, around the skull to support it while in transit. The sturdy framework will also serve as shelving for most of the vertebrae.
What an event! This afternoon Dan and park staff moved the skull from storage to the truck. Snow's skull had been resting on a boat trailer under a temporary shelter for years. Careful planning had to be done. Snow's skull was very fragile and broken in many places. It had also been weakened by sun damage. Dan and park staff took great care to secure the skull to the pallet before moving. This helped to prevent possible shifting during the short transport from the shed to the maintenance yard. Finally, after everyone was satisfied, the skull was ready to be loaded. With care and precision, the forklift lifted the skull right into position. Success!
The enormous mandibles came next. They had being stored on the floor of the bone cache for many years. Any time you entered the cache, you were always one step away from these huge bones! It took a crew of 5 strong people to move and lift them into the truck. Success!
Dan will continue to work into the evening inventorying and packing bones. We will continue to post updates during this process.
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Did You Know?
No hoax, iceworms do exist. These small, threadlike, segmented black worms, usually less than one inch long, thrive in temperatures just above freezing. Observers as far back as the 1880’s reported the tiny worms on the surface of glaciers. When sunlight strikes, ice worms burrow into the ice.