On the workbench, carving pens, brushes, tweezers, nails and other tools are available. The precise tip of the pneumatic pen vibrates at high speed and collides with the surrounding rock to make a "Zizi" sound. Some dinosaur bones are clear... Wang Tao can't remember which dinosaur fossils he repaired, but he still enjoys this boring job.
Lufeng City in the central part of Yunnan Province, the excavation of China's first dinosaur fossil in 1938 made Yunnan famous at home and abroad. Since then, more than 100 dinosaur fossils have been excavated here, naming 38 species of dinosaur fossils in 25 genera, known as the "hometown of dinosaurs". Recently, a dinosaur fossil with a preservation integrity of more than 70% was excavated in this area, which has entered the stage of restoration“ From the tail and thigh bone fossils, the dinosaur was about 8 meters long and about 3.5 to 4 meters high. " Wang Tao, head of Lufeng dinosaur fossil protection and Research Center, said that such a fossil needs two or three fossil restorers to "revive" in a month.
"My father was a cultural relics collector of Lufeng County Cultural Museum. I have been exposed to dinosaur fossils since I was a child“ Speaking of fossil restoration, Wang Tao, who has been associated with dinosaurs for more than 30 years, opened the conversation. "Fossil restoration is to separate fossils from rocks for scientific research and exhibition." Wang Tao said, "fossils are generally wrapped in rocks. Due to the different rock horizons and hardness, it needs to be cleaned a little with professional tools. When they encounter fine parts such as skulls, they even need to use magnifying glass, digging needle and scalpel. "Reducing fossils is only the first step". For broken fossils, they need to find their original position with glue. For the missing part, it is necessary to calculate the scale and draw the model according to the existing part, and repair it with gypsum“
"Fossil restorers should not only repair fossils, but also collect, excavate and install them." Over the past 30 years, Wang Tao has participated in the excavation and restoration of more than 40 dinosaurs and hundreds of scattered fossils“ I once repaired an 8-meter-long Jinshan dragon fossil alone. I repaired it during the day, set up a bed next to the fossil at night, and slept with it for more than two years. " Wang Tao recalled, "in 2006, I took more than 20 people to dig and repair, sorted out more than 30 dinosaur fossils, and the new car I just bought ran 98000 kilometers a year. Today, these fossils are displayed in Lufeng Dinosaur Valley. "
Fossils are non renewable resources. Repairing fossils requires patience and pain“ Boring "," persistence "and" ingenuity "have become synonymous with this profession. Wang Tao introduced that at present, there are no more than 10 people engaged in fossil restoration in Lufeng City, and most of them are not full-time“ Many people can't stick to their hard work and low income. " However, such work ignited Dong Qixing's interest. At the beginning of 2021, Dong Qixing passed the examination of public institutions and officially joined Lufeng dinosaur fossil protection and Research Center, becoming Wang Tao's youngest "Apprentice".
"On my first day up the mountain, my skin was directly dark under the strong ultraviolet radiation of the Yunnan Guizhou Plateau." The discovery of dinosaur fossils is Dong Qixing's first participation in fossil excavation and restoration“ The work of a fossil restorer is like playing a three-dimensional puzzle. Although it is difficult, it is very challenging. When I saw the fossil structure in front of me, I felt that my efforts during this period were not in vain. " In a few months, he slowly understood the whole picture of his career and had his own plan“ I want more people to see what we are doing through the Internet, and I also want more people to be interested in paleontological fossils“
The enthusiasm of the "Apprentice" gratified Wang Tao“ At present, there are only more than 100 people engaged in this profession in China. The fossil restoration team is in urgent need of "afterwave". I hope more young people are interested in this job and stick to it. " When it comes to the future, the goal of this pair of teachers and apprentices in their thirties is the same - to reproduce the "Jurassic world"“ We hope that through our hands, we can 'revive' more lives hundreds of millions of years ago and contribute to scientific research and popular science exhibition. "