Seattle’s Mammoth Tusk Fossil

As soon as the dirt was brushed away from each section, the mammoth tusk was covered with damp towels to keep it from drying too quickly. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
As soon as the dirt was brushed away from each section, the mammoth tusk was covered with damp towels to keep it from drying too quickly. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
Burke Museum fossil preparators removed
soil from the tusk section by section. The soil was then placed in bags for analysis. By
collecting the soil as well as the fossil, scientists can begin to reconstruct what the environment was like during the
time since the mammoth was buried.
(Photo courtesy of the
Burke Museum)
Burke Museum fossil preparators removed soil from the tusk section by section. The soil was then placed in bags for analysis. By collecting the soil as well as the fossil, scientists can begin to reconstruct what the environment was like during the time since the mammoth was buried. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
The tusk was wrapped
in aluminum foil, burlap, four layers of plaster, and blankets then strapped to a pallet to be
transported to the Burke Museum. (Photo by Cathy Britt, courtesy Burke Museum
and AMLI Residential)
The tusk was wrapped in aluminum foil, burlap, four layers of plaster, and blankets then strapped to a pallet to be transported to the Burke Museum. (Photo by Cathy Britt, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
Burke Museum Paleontology Lab Manager Bruce Crowley
uses an awl to carefully
remove sediment from around the tusk. When fully exposed, the tusk measured 8.5 ft. (Photo by Christian
Sidor, courtesy Burke
Museum and AMLI
Residential)
Burke Museum Paleontology Lab Manager Bruce Crowley uses an awl to carefully remove sediment from around the tusk. When fully exposed, the tusk measured 8.5 ft. (Photo by Christian Sidor, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
Burke Museum paleontologists apply layers of plaster to the exposed side of the tusk. The plaster will protect the tusk from bending and cracking throughout the
drying process, which may take up to 12 months. Plastering
only one side of the tusk will help moisture escape, and allow people to study and view the tusk. (Photo by Christian
Sidor, courtesy Burke
Museum and AMLI
Residential)
Burke Museum paleontologists apply layers of plaster to the exposed side of the tusk. The plaster will protect the tusk from bending and cracking throughout the drying process, which may take up to 12 months. Plastering only one side of the tusk will help moisture escape, and allow people to study and view the tusk. (Photo by Christian Sidor, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
A crane lifts the tusk out of the construction site and onto a
waiting flatbed truck. (Photo by Cathy Britt,
courtesy Burke Museum
and AMLI Residential)
A crane lifts the tusk out of the construction site and onto a waiting flatbed truck. (Photo by Cathy Britt, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
Preparing to hoist the tusk. (Photo by Cathy Britt, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
Preparing to hoist the tusk. (Photo by Cathy Britt, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
(Photo by
Alaina Smith,
courtesy Burke Museum
and AMLI Residential)
(Photo by Alaina Smith, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
The fossil is waterlogged and needs to slowly dry, a process that could take at least 12 months.  (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
The fossil is waterlogged and needs to slowly dry, a process that could take at least 12 months. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
Burke Museum paleontologists used an oyster shucker to remove the
sections of plaster.
As soon as
plaster and dirt were
removed from each section, the tusk was covered with damp towels to keep it from drying too quickly. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
Burke Museum paleontologists used an oyster shucker to remove the sections of plaster. As soon as plaster and dirt were removed from each section, the tusk was covered with damp towels to keep it from drying too quickly. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
Burke Museum Fossil Preparator Bruce Crowley carefully removes a portion of the plaster cast from the fossilized
mammoth tusk. Volunteers help vacuum up debris as Crowley cuts into the plaster with a medical cast saw. (Photo courtesy of the
Burke Museum)
Burke Museum Fossil Preparator Bruce Crowley carefully removes a portion of the plaster cast from the fossilized mammoth tusk. Volunteers help vacuum up debris as Crowley cuts into the plaster with a medical cast saw. (Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum)
Getting ready to place the tusk on the pallet. (Photo by Cathy Britt,
courtesy Burke Museum
and AMLI Residential)
Getting ready to place the tusk on the pallet. (Photo by Cathy Britt, courtesy Burke Museum and AMLI Residential)
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