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PREPARATION TECHNIQUES APPLIED TO A STEGOSAURIAN DINOSAUR FROM PORTUGAL

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Abstract

General vertebrate paleontological techniques that have been used in the Museum of Lourinhã (Portugal) are presented here, in particular those applied to a stegosaurian dinosaur skeleton, Miragaia longicollum. A monolith jacket technique using polyurethane foam and plaster is presented. Mechanical preparation techniques combining the use of an electric grinder and airscribes proved effective during the initial phases of preparation on well-preserved bone embedded in hard matrix. We also present a technique to mould monoliths in the early stages of preparation, creating a thin silicone rubber mould in several contiguous parts. To mould and cast monoliths before removing individual bones has proven valuable for the preservation of taphonomic data and for display purposes. Polyurethane resin combined with plaster is useful for small casts, while polyester resin applied in four layers is the preferred technique for larger casts. The four layers are composed of: a first thin layer of polyester resin with bone colour; followed by another layer of polyester resin of sediment colour and containing glass microspheres to make it thicker. The third layer is composed of fibre glass chopped strands, and the fourth is composed of fibre glass mats embedded in plain polyester resin. 3D scanning and digitization techniques where tested for the storage of osteological information of individual bones and proved very promising.

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Most cited references 4

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Dinosaurs of Portugal

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A new long-necked 'sauropod-mimic' stegosaur and the evolution of the plated dinosaurs.

Stegosaurian dinosaurs have a quadrupedal stance, short forelimbs, short necks, and are generally considered to be low browsers. A new stegosaur, Miragaia longicollum gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Jurassic of Portugal, has a neck comprising at least 17 cervical vertebrae. This is eight additional cervical vertebrae when compared with the ancestral condition seen in basal ornithischians such as Scutellosaurus. Miragaia has a higher cervical count than most of the iconically long-necked sauropod dinosaurs. Long neck length has been achieved by 'cervicalization' of anterior dorsal vertebrae and probable lengthening of centra. All these anatomical features are evolutionarily convergent with those exhibited in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs. Miragaia longicollum is based upon a partial articulated skeleton, and includes the only known cranial remains from any European stegosaur. A well-resolved phylogeny supports a new clade that unites Miragaia and Dacentrurus as the sister group to Stegosaurus; this new topology challenges the common view of Dacentrurus as a basal stegosaur.
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A New Casting Medium for Use in Flexible and Rigid Molds

Author and article information

Affiliations
[Museu da Lourinhã, Rua João Luís de Moura, 2530-157 Lourinhã]
[CICEGe, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, , 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal]
[Creatures and Features, Rijndijk 17, NL-6686 MN, Doornenburg, Netherlands]
Journal
16465806
JOURNAL OF PALEONTOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES
GEAL, Museu da Lourinha (Portugal)
1646-5806
2009
: 5
: 1-23
© 2009 Araújo et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

CC BY 3.0

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