Preparation of Fossils and Tools



ll my fossils are catch and prepared by me. I am not a great specialist in the preparation, but I have enough knowledge to also venture well in this area. Recently, I acquired specialized equipment for the preparation of fossils. "Toys" expensive, but that put us on another level of work preparing the fossils...

For some time, I make volunteered work, of preparation of fossils in Lourinhã Museum. Occasionally, I contribute some fossil finds, to the Museum collection.  

Preparing Dinosaur Fossils Inside AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) 

The work of preparation of the fossils

My fossils are all prepared by me. They are simply cleaned from the matrix, solidified and made the minimal cosmetic repairs. I am absolutely against counterfeiting, or artificial arrangements, in the "Frankenstein" style. My fossils are 100% natural. 

The preparation of a fossil is a very delicate and time-consuming process, especially when wants to obtain excellent results. Many collectors are big fans of field collections, but they have no way or patience for the preparation of fossils...    Personally, I think this part one of the most gratifying of the whole process. To return to "life" a certain fossil, which was once a living animal, is something sublime...

When I started my collection of fossils, I had no idea of the concept of fossil preparation. Most collectors, too, do not have... This lack of initial knowledge led me to irremediably destroy some fossils.  The preparation is not only to have good tools available to work with. It requires anatomical knowledge of the fossil in which one is going to work and an enormous degree of patience. Anatomic, because only then can be known with some degree of certainty, in what may or may not be the fossil. Often the fossil of the matrix is hardly distinguishable... Patience, because as a rule a fossil can take many hours, days or months to clean... patience is fundamental.

 Tools for Preparing Fossils

Tools and accessories of preparation

Almost everything, can be used to clean fossils...

I started with the most basic things that can be arranged. Since old toothbrushes, to simple watchmakers' keys, needles, small chisels, hammers, steel brushes, etc., etc. Almost everything can be used, depending on the result you want and the fossil you are working on ... the result can be more or less good, depending on the way and the requirement, of each one. As become more demanding and evolving, the simple tools no longer come...

Currently I work with the famous PEN, or simply, micro pneumatic hammers. These quality tools are usually not cheap, but they are indispensable for those who want to advance another level in the preparation of fossils. Then comes many other specialized tools for certain jobs in certain kind of fossils. These specific tools can exceed hundreds of euros. Everything can be good, when the result justifies the investment...

Torvosaurus gurneyi

                                                                                           Texts and photos from: J.P oliveira