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Subject: Microwear and dental wax

Microwear and dental wax

From: Jackie Chapman <j.chapman<-at->
Date: Monday, January 26, 2009
There is a current and growing trend in vertebrate zoology and
palaeontology research which focuses on the analysis of dental
micro-wear in ungulates (particularly artiodactyls, though rhino
dental micro-wear is also 'in vogue').  Whilst we are careful to
ensure that the dental 'wax' used is 'conservation friendly', and
leaves little or no residue on the teeth or discolouration of the
surrounding bone, we have concerns about micro-deterioration of the
grinding surface of the teeth of our specimens as the freshly-set
mould is removed. The museum has tried to get researchers to either
share moulds with others, or pass them to us for copyright purposes,
but they claim that the moulds break apart when they subsequently go
back to their labs to make casts of the teeth from our specimens to
use for SEM etc work.

We would appreciate any information that can be given on the types
of dental wax/moulding material that other museums use, any
damage/stresses that this form of replication may cause to specimens
and what policies other museums have in place for researchers
sharing moulds etc.

Jackie Chapman-Gray
Natural Sciences Conservator
Department of Zoology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD
+44 207 942 6884

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:43
                Distributed: Saturday, January 31, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-43-027
Received on Monday, 26 January, 2009

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