The excavated bones are transported to the Drake Paleontology Laboratory at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas. In the laboratory there are 12 workstations equipped with tools for bone preparation. Here carefully trained preparators are responsible for cleaning, repairing and processing the returning bones. When they have completed their work, the bones are transferred to the Museum for curation.
We will go through the steps of preparation with the help of one of our preparators, April, who will illustrate a small part of the procedure. The steps involved in preparing a bone vary for every bone depending upon the condition of the specimen. Here April will show a few steps in the cleaning of a very simple specimen, an ungual (last finger or toe bone) from a duckbilled dinosaur, Edmontosaurus annectens.