Fossils Go Live

Paleo Fb Live 3
The mystery fossil still under wraps and looking festive in a teaser image promoting the event.

In December 2021, researchers at the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Collections got a head start on the holiday season by unwrapping a “mystery fossil” on Facebook Live.

Dozens of people tuned in live to watch fossil preparator Kenneth Bader cut through layers of plaster with an electric saw and utility blades — revealing a probable phytosaur skull surrounded by red dirt. Assisting Bader was volunteer preparator Grace Self. Since its debut, the video has received over 5,000 views on Facebook and close to 300 more on YouTube

The phytosaur was collected between 1939 and 1941 as part of a Works Progress Administration project that employed hundreds of Texans in need of work as trainee fossil hunters. Thousands of other fossils from that period still remain under wraps in the Jackson School of Geosciences collections.

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