White River Preparium is owned and operated by Sandy & Ed Gerken

POB 747 Hill City, SD 57745


Here's a little time trip, a page we had on the web back in 2002 showing some preparation photos. Enjoy!

Steps in Preparation of an Oreodont Skull

Once a fossil has been located and collected, that's just the beginning of readying it for display. To see these steps in progress, join us in the lab, as we prepare an Oreodont skull. Starting with a small block containing a skull with lowers, matrix is removed to expose the fossil. The bone is glued and secured as we go along, and some restoration has already been started. Click on the small photos below to see enlarged views, then use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.


The two views above show the Oreodont as we collected it. Since it was found in the bottom of a wash, the left cheek and much of the braincase had been weathered away. But the jaws were visible underneath, and since the right side was still covered by matrix, we had hopes that it would be in better shape.

Here's the right side after initial cleaning. It is not the best preserved, but is fairly complete. We roughed in its "eyeball" to help visualize the skull. Some of the matrix pedestal has been removed, but we're still not happy with how it displays.

Now, we return to the left side and expose the jaw. Whoops! He has his kneecap in his mouth! We also discover a badly weathered leg bone alongside the jaw. A plus: A few vertebrae are still attached to the skull.

General cleaning continues, concentrating on the teeth this time. The matrix is smoothed and we're starting to see how this piece will display.

Progress is really evident now, and some restoration has been started. The kneecap and leg have been removed from the other side, and it won't be long now till this piece is ready for display. Shortly after this photo was taken, the skull was sold. Preparation was completed, but it left the lab too quickly to have a final image to show here.

White River Preparium

Ed & Sandy Gerken

POB 747 Hill City, SD 57745


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