SAN ANTONIO – The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a lot of industries this past year, including the museum and discovery industry.
COVID-19 has led to several planned excavation digs to be sidelined or postponed, but the Witte Museum is doing what they can to stay in discovery mode.
“The Witte Museum has over 350,000 artifacts and specimens and objects in our collections, and paleontology is just one of the many areas. And so we have, about 2,000 fossils in our collections,” Dr. Thomas Adams, Ph. D. Curator of Paleontology and Geology for the Witte Museum said.
Dr. Adams gave KSAT12 an inside look at the secret Witte Museum repository. Part of that new repository is a new lab.
“In paleontology, when we go excavate fossils we bring them back while they’re still encased in rock. That way we can bring them to a lab. And under those conditions, we can slowly remove the rock and expose the fossil, and conserve it before it can actually be a part of our collection or before we put it on exhibit or do research. So labs are just so important to do paleontology,” Dr. Thomas said.
The new lab is possible thanks to a recent grant, and there are big plans for it in the future.
“We have lots of plans to go out and find new fossil localities, visit some old fossil localities and find more fossils to help our collections grow. And so, as an example, this year we went out and spent a few days collecting some Mosasaurus fossils,” Dr. Thomas said.