New megapredator of the Cretaceous announced by Lindsay Zanno in the Daily Planet theater. Super awesome, check it out! Collaboration with our friends and colleagues at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Lindsay’s coauthor is Peter Makovicky.
Special thanks to museum volunteer Dick Webb! Visitors can now see the specimens as they are being prepared in the air abrasion chamber. The previous commercial-grade unit kept workers from breathing the harmful dust created by the process, but it also kept visitors from seeing what we were doing in there. That’s because the box was all metal except for the glass viewing window on the technician’s side. With a collaborative design effort by Dick Webb, Lisa Herzog and the folks in the Exhibits department here at the museum (who also built the box) we now have a fantastic custom built unit that allows viewing from both sides of the abrasion chamber.
Stop by and see what’s going on in the lab! And see what’s going on INSIDE the micro-abrasion chamber for a change.
Norwegian-born artist and engraver John Conrad Hansen (1869-1952) drew and painted a series of magnificent restorations of fossil vertebrates during his fourteen year career at Chicago’s Field Museum. Many of his line drawings were eventually published in the scientific literature, especially in papers authored by paleontologists Elmer S. Riggs, Bryan Patterson and Paul McGrew. Others, including an unknown number of beautiful oil paintings, were intended to add a dash of form and color to the fossil vertebrate displays in the museum’s historic Hall 38, the now defunct hall of vertebrate paleontology. Unfortunately, Hansen’s paintings were uninstalled in 1994 when the museum renovated its paleontology exhibits, and, to the best of my knowledge, none are currently on display there.
I remember seeing some of these paintings in the museum when I visited in my youth. I vividly recall a display that explained how fossils are formed, and how they are found and collected by paleontologists. This display featured a memorable series of six Hansen paintings illustrating how an animal carcass enters the fossil record. One of those paintings is featured below.
Hansen’s work was much admired by the Field Museum’s paleontology staff. Riggs noted that “Mr. Hansen … has a fine discriminating sense of form in his drawings.” Patterson was even more effusive: “I may say without exaggeration that [Hansen] has no superior and few peers among either contemporary or former illustrators of fossil vertebrate remains.”
A very small sample of Hansen’s work is reproduced here, courtesy of the Field Museum.