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Overview of the cast Vs real bone thread



After reading the recent thread I'd like to add a couple of extra things.
Among other things, these extra things will hopefully highlight that I have
mixed feelings about the use of real bones:  Firstly, somebody said a
downside of mounting the skeleton was that visitors won't be able to touch
it.  I haven't been to an awful lot of museums where you can touch the
mounted skeletons unless they're stocky like the ankylosaurids or
ceratopsians.  Besides, a cure for this would be to have a mounted thighbone
cast or arm cast or such that people could touch (though I believe someone
already suggested this).  Ralph Chapman wrote that vandalism was a
consequential problem of mounting the real thing, as was the risk of
religious extreme fundamentalist action.  Whole heartedly agree, but would
also concede some extreme anti-capitalist campaigners may have something to
contribute given the notorious prices attached to the fossil.  While I'm on
this, is The Field worried about someone thinking "Well this cost millions,
so if I steal a vertebrae or a toe and own 1% it it will be worth tens of
thousands" ?  It's clearly not accurate thinking, but the same thing happens
in the props department of major movies.  Something to bear in mind.

    Chris Brochu (I think it was him, sorry Chris) noted that a real fossil
tells history on two levels - the animal's life story and the story of it's
preparation.  In addition, seeing a real fossil as large as this mounted
tells a story of the days of exhibition when all specimens were real and I
think it is refreshing that we can relive those days by witnessing an actual
mount instead of casts.  Luis Rey mentioned doing a 3d rendering of the
skull and undoing the compression that way using "Stan" as a guide - isn't
Stan a Gracile morph and wouldn't that pose problems?  As an aside, Gigi and
Ralph mentioned the way it is with attention spans these days.  In the past
I have often spent so long staring adoringly at the cast of Diplodocus in
the main hall of the BMNH that the staff have ended up looking at me funny
as if I meant some kind of nefarious intention.  I don't know, perhaps I'll
take my sketch pad next time I go and draw a skeletal reconstruction of the
creature just to justify being there so long.

Sam