Non-vertebrate paleontology collections
at the Texas Natural Science Center

Relocation of fossils

Specimens are being rehoused in new metal cabinets where they will be better protected from dust, insects, and variations in temperature and humidity.

attaching labels to empty drawers As specimens are removed from the old wooden cabinets, a label is left on each drawer indicating the new location of the specimens.  It is important to leave a 'trail' so that research workers who have used the collections in the past will still be able to find their specimens.
The selected specimens are made easier to handle by using a simple 'cafeteria tray and trolley' system.  Each tray is lined with foam to reduce the risk of damage in transit. loading the large trays for removal to the sorting area
specimens located on shelves prior to cleaning These open shelves are temporary storage for specimens.  They allow us to sort the selected fossils before cleaning and adding labels
Each drawer in the new cabinets is lined on the bottom and sides with a layer of ethafoamŪ. 

The foam protects the specimens from the impacts generated every time a drawer is opened.

The intricate task of cutting the precise foam shape is simplified by using templates.

template,scalpels, and a large sheet of glass ease the task
foam inserts make a snug fit inside the drawers 360 drawers are required for the current house about 8000 fossils
Individual specimen trays are also lined with foam.  Specimens are not placed in these trays until they have been cleaned and any information on old labels has been entered into the database.
cleaned specimens relocated in lined trays