Adam and the Edmontosaurus

Edmontosaurus re-instate 011
Adam (left) and Pete carrying a hind leg, presided over by the statue of Henry John Stephen Smith, Keeper of the Museum 1874 -1883

Fossil Fridays don’t get much bigger than this. This morning a team from the Museum have started the process of reinstating our large Edmontosaurus cast. The 49 pieces that make up the skeleton were brought back into the Museum after going out on the road, and now sit ready and waiting in the middle of the Museum.

For many of the team, lugging dinosaurs around is an everyday challenge, but one member of staff is very new to this sort of thing. Meet Adam Fisk, our new apprentice who joined the Museum only 2 weeks ago. Working alongside his supervisor Pete Johnson, he’s already helped with all sorts of tasks around the building, such as removing old display panels and fixing lights, but this one has to be a new experience.

Returning the Edmontosaurus base to the museum court with supervisor Pete Johnson
Returning the Edmontosaurus base to the Museum court with supervisor Pete Johnson

Adam is fresh into the Museum following his GCSEs this summer and he says it all feels like a dramatic change of scene;

Only 8 weeks ago I was sitting in a classroom – now look at me stride!

The Edmontosaurus was dismantled back in June and went to the Cheltenham Science Festival with Professor Phil Manning of Manchester University. It was displayed in the ‘Dinozone’ exhibition, which received 14,000 visitors over 6 days.

The Edmontosaurus bones attract attention from a visiting primary school.
The Edmontosaurus bones attract attention from a visiting primary school.

The cast is made up of 15 sections (plus 34 ribs) which bolt together. First to go on are the back legs and pelvis, then the spine and the skull, followed by the upper limbs. Lastly, the 34 ribs can be carefully slotted into place. The giant puzzle of fitting it altogether will begin on Monday.

Here’s how Pete describes Adam’s Edmontosaurus experience:

One small step for A-dam, one giant leap for apprentice-kind!

Rachel Parle, Interpretation and Education Officer

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More than a Dodo

I'm Public Engagement Manager at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and I look after permanent displays and other interpretation. I do a bit of social media on the side, too.

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