Follow the Specimen

There are many different ways to look at a fossil. The preparator understands the specimen as materials; bone and matrix that must be dealt with properly to extract the fossil and enable the user to do his/her work.

The scientist views the specimen as a source of data – while the physical bone is fascinating, it is information that they can glean to advance their research that is most important.  For exhibit developer, the specimen is a tool to teach about evolution and biodiversity, while for the public who visit the exhibit, the fossil is a fascinating illustration of the history of life on our planet. 

This page looks at the work of three AMNH preparators as they each work on the preparation of a single specimen. Click on a specimen to follow a brief narrative as it goes through the process of preparation.  For more detailed information download the accompanying PowerPoint written by each preparator.

  1. Oviraptor prepared by Amy Davidson
  2. Notoungulate prepared by Ana Balcarcel
  3. Protoceratops prepared by Justy Alicea