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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Logo The Department of Paleobiology - The Life of a Vertebrate Fossil
Level 3 - Preparing the New Find - Collectible
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Dr. Matthew Carrano, Curator of Dinosaurs, studies the holotype skull of the carnivorous dinosaur Ceratosaurus nasicornis as it rests in its padded jacket.

Once the specimen has been prepared and jacketed (if necessary), it goes into the museum's collection or the paleontologist's laboratory, where it can be used for study, teaching and sometimes exhibition.

These skulls of Miocene-age long-beaked porpoises are supported and protected in their padded jackets after conservation. They will be stored on shelves in our collections.   Many specimens are stored in the collections at the Museum. This video shows just a small part of our vertebrate fossil collections. The tall dark leg bone at the end of the row is a dinosaur femur (thigh bone).

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