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RE: Sue Photos Online (Good ones!)

>Well - the preps did the reconstruction, but under my advice.  And I stand
>by that reconstruction.  There was no way to make the snout any deeper.
>The real skull is on exhibit on the second floor if y'all want to do some
>Actually I think it's the back of the skull that needs to be deeper. Compare
>the AMNH with 'Sue', the back end should be deeper, higher, whatever you
>like to call it.

It may have been deeper in life, but there's only so much you can do with a
fossil or cast without adding to the restoration.  The quadrates were
splayed quite a bit in the actual skull, and it would have taken
considerable breakage to fix all of it.

This is also why the ribs aren't swept all the way back, as an earlier
commentator observed.  This was not an oversight on our part - the rib
heads and vertebral transverse processes are all distorted.  Had we
articulated the ribs perfectly, the trunk would have been twisted to the
left.  The ribs are disarticulated on the mount, but this was the only way
to make the trunk look like a trunk.

Remember, when mounting real bones, one has to deal with postmortem
distortion.  We wanted to minimize restoration on the bones - restoration
covers up what's actually there, and we wanted to keep the bones as
pristine as possible for future researchers.

>PS. Why aren't you in any of the National Geographic photos?

The article focuses on the mounting.  My job was the description - I
interacted with the mounters, but the real stars of the show were Phil
Fraley and his group of artists, along with the preparation team here at
the museum.


Christopher A. Brochu
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

voice: 312-665-7633
fax: 312-665-7641
electronic:  cbrochu@fmppr.fmnh.org