An Improvized Core-Drilling Technique and a New Device for Osteohistology of Fossil Bones: Implementation on a Jurassic Sauropod Dinosaur from India
An improvized version of the conventional core drilling technique, based on a new device is introduced in the current work for extracting cores from fossil bones to understand their microanatomy. A powerful, low-speed electric drill with an autolubrication facility is used as the new device, and the bone specimen is placed on a permanently fixed platform beneath the drill bit. It avoids the vibration-induced wobbling of the conventional handheld drill machine and helps in precision sampling. Long drill bits of the new device result in extraction of long cores, reduce premature breakages of cores, and recovery of the entire bone microstructure for high resolution deduction of palaeobiological information. As this version of drilling technique is less destructive, it has better sampling coverage, where fossil bones can be restored to their original shapes and preserved with almost no loss in gross morphology. This is first time such a device for extraction of fossil drill cores has been installed. After test run on dummy samples, the new device has been successfully implemented for extraction of eleven cores from various long bones of the early Jurassic sauropod dinosaur Barapasaurus tagorei. The fossil bones are restored to their pre-coring shapes, the detail protocols of which are discussed here for the first time.
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