Fossil bones are prepared using special tools designed for removing the tough matrix. This rhizodontid cleithrum was mostly concealed when found.

After all these fossils are collected they require further effort and attention. Each must be cleaned, stabilized, labelled, photographed, and documented. Some specimens also need reassembly, and a great many more would benefit from having the surrounding rock cleaned away to reveal the entire object – especially the fossil bones. This cleaning, or ‘preparation’ work, is one of the main tasks in the BBFM lab, but it is painstakingly slow work.

With over 6000 bone specimens in the collection, a serious backlog now exists. When it comes to preparing these bones it is safe to say that we’ve already collected a hundred-years worth of research.

This work at Blue Beach must one day be completed in a full-size research-lab facility. This is why the BBFM Society has formed to help build a new fossil institute. The need for additional workspace and equipment has grown far beyond the current 1200 sq. ft. fossil museum.