The stable caudal vertebra is of robust proportions, well over a kilogram in weight due to the mineral absorption of the fossil bed and the excellence of preservation which is unusual. The fossil vertebrae bone from a large adult individual, the dark colour of a natural mahogany staining again influenced by years absorbing mineral content of the fossil environment, by a process of per-mineralisation the tissues of the bone is at a molecular scale petrified and eventually fossilised over a long period of time. Dinosaur bones of this quality of preservation are rarely discovered, little work has been carried out, it is in an almost in an as found condition, as found in the fossil bed when unearthed, with later careful cleaning conservation in the fossil Lab.
The condition is good, lots of iron red matrix attachment posteriorly, with much bone surface exposed exhibiting a fine dark mahogany sheen and overall in a good state of preservation. The sheen and colour tone on the waisted body of the vertebra is very attractive. The shape of the narrowing body typical of a theropod anatomy, in gaining as much strength while reducing weight for the chase or flight equation. View all our illustrations to access the overall completeness of this fossil vertebra.
Often Moroccan fossil diggers seal or cover over damaged or stressed bone finds with fixatives, or cosmetically coloured fillers. This can have a aesthetic negative result for any future collector or for scientific study, until at such time that these additives can be removed by a skilful technician. Cleaned back to the original bone surface. Thankfully this is usually possible in a professional laboratory using modern chemical restorers. Often the pasting over of what are assumed defects (palaeontologists, scientists and collectors find more interesting and appealing), becomes unappealing, often obvious, the fillers and additives creating more work. Fortunately field repairs can normally be undone and a further restoration and preservation can be carried out correctly.
This dinosaur vertebrae is from the same fossil horizon where Nizar Ibrahim made a significant Spinosaurid find, in a detective tale which unfolded in the southern part of Morocco. The bones which led to the eventual discovery of a partial skeleton Nizar finally identified in Italy and with the help of Paul Serrano from the museum of Chicago excavated bones to complete a partial skeleton back in Chicago. These bones found on the slopes of the Red Beds Hamada in the western desert. A replica skeleton of that partial skeleton was composited together from bones from various museum sources and went on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., The exhibition of Spinosaurus, Lost Giant of the Cretaceous Period in April 2015. This current exhibit illustrated above was discovered in Morocco between 2013 to 2014 made its way to a European source and was secured later by our fossil team.