• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Centennial Paleontology Site - Jacketing Fossils

Jacketing a Fossil

Jacketing a Fossil

NPS Photo by Tom Farrell

Jackets for the Fossils

The process of becoming wet and dry and of freezing and thawing has caused the fossils to become extremely fractured and fragile. The scientists examining the area have to jacket the fossils they find so they won’t fall apart upon inspection. To jacket something means that a plaster cast is created to surround the item, then when the fossil is taken to the lab for studying, the cast can be removed.

 
Marking a Jacketed Fossil

Marking a Jacketed Fossil

NPS Photo by Tom Farrell

A Puzzle Like No Other

Without the jacket, the fossil will break into many pieces and putting them back together again would be like putting together the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle.

More about the Centennial Discovery

 

Did You Know?

American bison on the Wind Cave National Park prairie

The American bison is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America. Male bison can weigh a ton and can run 35 miles per hour. Do not approach bison. They weigh more and can outrun you. More...