1996, University College London:

Giant Wings in Small Halls

Alexandra Anders

A life-sized model skeleton of the giant pterosaur Arambourgiania philadelphiae, with an 11.5 metre wingspan, was designed and constructed in just 11 weeks. Arambourgiania was reconstructed on the basis of better-known but related pterosaurs. The postcranial skeleton was modelled in clay, moulded in silicone rubber and cast in epoxy resin. The skull was modelled from plastic sheeting, epoxy putty and polyurethane foam. The finished model appeared on the BBC's children's programme "Blue Peter", before being displayed at Portsmouth City Museum and Records Office as part of an exhibition entitled "Giant Wings over Dinosaur World" from 28th September to 10th November 1996. The exhibition has since appeared in Leicester and Germany.

Steel, L., Martill, D.M., Kirk, J., Anders, A., Loveridge, R.F., Frey, E. and Martin, J.G. Arambourgianiaphiladelphiae: giant wings in small halls. The Geological Curator 6(8): 305-313.


Excavating and preparing ?Pelonuestes - a recent pliosaurid discovery from Oxfordshire

Juliet Hay

On a field trip in 1994 by Geological Collections staff, a near complete 165 million year old, 5m long pliosaurid skeleton from the Lower Oxford Clay was discovered in the Yarnton Gravel Pits, 7km north-west of Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

The fossil skeleton was painstakingly excavated over the course of a 2 week period and brought to the museum in plaster packages to protect it on its journey and keep it relatively intact until it could be carefully unpacked in the Geology Lab. This work is of particular significance because complete skeletons are rare, and also, this is now believed to be a specimen of an undescribed genus.

This talk will focus on the processes involved in the excavation, and the mechanical and chemical techniques employed in revealing the fossil bone, before it was put on display.



A Wild Goose: Preparation for the After Life

Angela Milner

The acquisition of a partial skeleton of a Magpie Goose from the London Clay at Walton-on-the-Naze PV A 9551 Anatalavis oxfordi and the preparation carried out by William Lindsay.