August 2023

August 11, 2023
Person using mallet and chisel to remove plaster around fossil

Delicate fossils found in museum are cleaned, repaired, and mounted in archival supports when the fossils are put on display or used for research. This #FossilFriday we share an update on the museum conservation of the Gyracanthus magnificus specimen. Above is our Geology Intern, Robbie, using a wooden mallet, chisel, and diamond whetstone to chip away the very old plaster that the fossil fish spine was embedded within.

August 4, 2023
Drawing of Gyracanthus magnificus fossil fish on blue background, length of fish 150 cm.

Imagine finding a giant fossil

Even the sound of the name, Gyracanthus magnificus [ Jyra’-can-thus  mag-nifi-cus ], evokes excitement, and magnificus this fossil sure is! 

The 325 million year old fossil was discovered in the limestone rocks near Baddeck, Nova Scotia in 1866. Gyracanthus magnificus was first mentioned in the scientific literature in Acadian Geology (Dawson 1868).