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Re: Pittsburgh's newest T.rex
Rich Kissel wrote:
> The Carnegie Museum of Natural History recently completed the
>mounting of another T.rex skeleton, [...]
Ever the paragon of modesty, Rich fails to mention that he designed
the mount, and was one of only two preparators who slaved tirelessly
illustrating, trimming, fitting and mounting the cast. From the pictures
I've seen, this has to be one of the finest tyrannosaur mounts in existance.
The mount effectively straddles that fine line between aesthetics,
believable behaviour, and convenience for the nearsighted visitor. Unlike
stand-alone mounts, this one offers a more active, dynamic, engaged quality
to the animal. The cast has been prepared to conform as closely as possible
to the known morphology of the animal, and the new exhibit should be a
visual treat for professionals, amateurs, and of course the public.
Mr. Kissel informs me that, since the mount is new and has not had
much time in the public eye, any plans regarding spaceflight for this
Carnegie dinosaur would be premature at best.
In other news:
Foreshadowing new exhibits, The Museum at Texas Tech University
recently unveiled another cast of the same _T. rex_ specimen, along with a
_Triceratops_. The mounts were built by R.C.I. and assembled in the main
hall of the Museum by their crew (amid a positively nauseating array of
grotesque twice-scale lighted fiberglass figurines depicting romanticised
scenes of the American Southwest). Regrettably, other obligations did not
allow our prized Mr. Kissel to participate fully in the process.
The rex mount is fairly nice, although the dorsal vertebral count is
apparently wrong, and the casting shortcut of doubling up serial elements
rather than casting each one individually results in a very unappealing
"unreal" aspect to the vertebral column. The pelvis appears to be laterally
crushed although the effect is somewhat please.
The trike is another matter. The pelvis is crused dorso-ventrally,
and this was capitalized upon in order to make the mount sexy. The result is
an almost horizontal dorsal, sacral, and caudal series, with the vertebrae
between the sections poorly articulated in order to facilitate this more
"modern" look. The forelimbs are mounted fully erect, so much so that the
hapless animal would have spent most of its time unconscious from the heart
trauma which I presume would accompany the vigourous massage which processes
of the humerus would administer to that organ during locomotion.
Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
"Chimp here does the killing." - Doug Mackenzie