CMNH: “ALICE” ALLOSAURUS RETURNS SPORTING A TAIL LIFT

 (1984 inauthentic stance of Allosaurus)

When the museum’s Allosaurus was first mounted in 1983, it was positioned with the tail bones on the ground to provide three points of stability.  Dr Michael Ryan, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, says this stance was typical of most museum mounts of theropod dinosaurs erected before the mid 1980s.  Though paleontologists knew that the creatures carried their tails horizontal to their bodies, the weight of the huge skeletons prevented specimens from being mounted in realistic positions.

But over the last two decades, new mounting techniques involving steel supports molded around the original fossils made it possible to display the skeletons in dynamic, life-like positions.

“Our Allosaurus was dismantled and remounted to take advantage of these new techniques to present the dinosaur in all its ferocious glory,” said Ryan.  “At the same time, we’ve taken the opportunity to do much needed conservation work on the fossil elements . . . . We’ve also corrected some of the more fanciful components of the original reconstruction—like the corkscrew tail—to have it align with our modern understanding of dinosaur anatomy.”

“Alice” Allosaurus is a composite skeleton of approximately 50 percent original fossilized bone of several individual dinosaurs combined with replicas of other bones cast in resin, polyurethane and fiberglass.  The new skeleton is approximately 28 feet long and seven and a half feet high.

The Bicknell Fund provided funding for the remounting of Allosaurus.

(authentic stance of “Alice” Allosaurus—long may her tail wave high and proud)

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