Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sphenocoelus intermedius

I present to you the second skull of which I so recently spoke. This guy was a lot harder to remove from the matrix in the field. It was in a large boulder which had fallen off the main outcrop which we had to reduce to a size we could manually carry out to a vehicle. It's kind of hard to see in this photo from the field, but trust me, it's there.I didn't begin taking photos of the preparation until the third day. This series is from the ventral (bottom looking up) view. Day 3Day 4Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9 (Work Complete!) I left all that matrix (rock) because the only thing holding the front of the skull to the back is the right palatine-pterygoid flange (thin wall of bone in the back of the throat).
Occlusal View (Teeth Detail)
Right Lateral View
For how much of this guy was missing and how battered it looked in the field, I'm very pleased with how well preserved the rest of it is. It's missing whole front top of the skull, incisors, canines, right first and second premolars, left first premolar, both zygomatic arches and a few other small things. The whole back of the skull is complete and in really good shape and all the remaining teeth look fantastic.
There are two leading brontothere researchers, Mader and Milbachler. Mader would call this skull Sphenocoelus intermedius, but Milbachler would call it Dolichorhinus hyognathus. I tend to side with Mader's observations, but Milbachler's name sounds cooler.




burkitos said...

I always feel like I'm learning something when I see your text book type photos of the before/after pix. Nice and neat work, Dan. I'll bet its great to be able to get paid for something you enjoy doing!

Big Papi said...

It sure is!