Within the Wyoming Dinosaur Center museum, we have our very own preparation lab, specifically designed to accommodate as many as 13 people at a time. Once bones are moved to the lab, preparators are tasked with choosing the best tools to remove unwanted matrix.
Projects start with micro jackhammers, air chisels, and dental tools, while more detailed work can be accomplished under the microscope using drills so small they can remove only a single grain of sand at a time. Cleaning a fossil requires great patience and skill as this is an extremely slow and tedious process. These bones have never before been seen by any other living being. To make sure they survive to be seen by as many people as possible, we must pay the utmost attention to detail. Sometimes, the bones are too fragile to be worked on as is and glue must be used on the surface and in cracks to further stabilize the bone before the matrix can be removed.