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Re: north by nortwest


    I believe that BOTH expansion and shrinkage would occur.  I think that
ice, while it is generally more compact than water, has a point (4 degrees
below the freezing point of water - I think the measurement is in Farenheit
not Celsius degrees) where it expands.  This would push the pieces of the
fossil apart (due to the ice that would have gotten into most of the
fractures in the fossil), then some shrinkage would occur as the ice melted
away.  Finally, when you are left with just water and fossil, you have a
very waterlogged fossil, and need to work very hard to preserve the fossil.
(You might end up with thick fossil stew - the consistency of cold oatmeal).

    Sherry - you might want to check with Kelly Gittis - she worked on a
frozen, waterlogged mammoth in Newfoundland (or Nova Scotia).  She would
probably know the exact sequence of events and what methods were tried to
speed up the removal.  (The fossil did not have hair or skin attached, as
far as I remember).

    Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: Sherry Michael <sherry@spatula-net.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Sunday, December 06, 1998 7:49 PM
Subject: re: north by nortwest

>>Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 11:39:56 -0800
>>From: Betty Cunningham <bettyc@flyinggoat.com>
>>curious if anyone would try one of those mini flame throwers they use on
>>creme brulee to defrost around a dig site
>>Can you use flame around fossils?
>>-Betty Cunningham
>I don't know if that would be a good idea. It's possible it could cause
>rapid expansion/shrinkage (I don't know which- shrinking I guess!) of a
>frozen fossil. This may worsen hairline fractures etc. I guess someone
>could try it out and let us preparators deal with the consequences. ;-)
>-Sherry Michael
>ANSP prep lab