A Closer Look at Preparation Techniques

A Closer Look at the Preparation Techniques of Fossils from the Fossil Butte Member of the Green River Formation

James Holstein
The Field Museum

The Fossil Butte Member of the Green River Formation in southwest Wyoming contains some of the world's most diverse and complete fossils. This 50 million year old locality represents a brief snapshot of a lake system that survived for 15 million years. There are two main fossil bearing deposits, the F-1 and F-2 layers, each posing unique challenges of excavation and preparation. Containing primarily fish, the locality has also yielded birds, reptiles, mammals, insects and plants. Preparation of these fossils require an understanding of the idiosyncrasies of the various fossil bearing layers and the subtleties of individual specimens. Application of proper preparation and conservation techniques will yield the best results and preserve the maximum amount of information.

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Last updated: March 16, 2018

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