PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Laboratory paleontology. Researchers removing fossil remains from a plaster cast. When remains are found in the field, most of the immediately surrounding rock is carefully removed. The specimen is then encased in plaster, allowing it to be removed to a laboratory. There, the cast and any remaining rock is removed with an almost surgical delicacy, with very fine tools or acids. The specimen may then be treated chemically to preserve it. In the background is a reconstruction of the skeleton of a Titanosaurus, made from plaster replicas of fossil remains. Photographed at Esperaza, southern France.
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