RAM Fossil Preparation

Welcome to
RAM Fossil Preparation

RAM Fossil Preparation is a service offered by expert preparator Robert A. Masek to professional paleontologists and private fossil collectors. After more than 28 years of fossil preparation at The Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago, growing demand for his freelance services led Robert to form RAM Fossil Preparation in 2015. Robert has worked on groups including dinosaurs, crocodiles, pterosaurs, birds, mammals, fish and plants. He is well known for his microscopic preparation of small, delicate fossils. One of Robert’s specialties is preparing plant and animal fossils found in the concretions of the famous Mazon Creek localities of Northern Illinois, USA.He also has long experience in preparing the beautifully preserved fossils from the Green River Formation in Wyoming. Robert’s interest in paleontology dates to his childhood. His passion for fossil preparation began as a volunteer preparator at The Field Museum in 1988. This led to a full-time position, in which Robert worked on fossils for the Field’s renowned vertebrate paleontologists (as well as two years working on the skull of the famous T. rex “Sue”). After 10 years at FMNH, Robert moved to the University of Chicago as Manager of the Fossil Lab spearheaded by eminent dinosaur expert Dr. Paul Sereno, working on many of Dr. Sereno’s sensational finds, as well as fossils for other U of C scientists. During his 15 years at the university he worked in the fossil lab with colleagues trained in the Fine Arts and he taught university students the art of fossil preparation. Robert’s expertise in fossil preparation has been sought by private collectors and scientist at national museums and other universities. Most the specimens Robert prepared at the Field, U of C, and other institutions have been used in cutting-edge research publications, and many are on public display. During his career Robert has been a member of many field crews, excavating fossils in Wyoming, Montana, and China. Robert is a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and has presented his work at the preparators’ sessions at annual SVP meetings.

Check Our Details Showcase

  • Reconstruction of a... This four foot long fossil fish specimen was damaged while in shipment transit. This once beautiful specimen came out of the shipment container looking like a basket case and the owner was looking at the...
  • Fill A Natural... These pictures illustrate the technique of using the natural impression that a fossil can leave in the rock matrix. This Isotelus trilobite shown below is about 8 inches long and is from the George Stone...
  • Reconstruction photos of... Reconstruction photos of a dinosaur caudal vertebra. Vertebra was accidentally dropped by the owner but owner collected all the broken pieces and sent them to Robert.Robert was able to reconstruct the anterior and posterior...
  • A rare fish... Sorbinichthys elusivo, rare fossil clupeomorph fish from the Cretaceous of Lebanon. Prepared for owner of private fish collection. Comparative pictures of same specimen showing before and after preparartion....
  • Slicing a dinosaur... Using the wet saw Robert cut a portion of bone off the distal end of a partial dinosaur femur. The cut-off portion was sliced into very thin sections which were then highly polished and used...
  • More Than Just... Robert was part of a team of preparators at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago who worked for two years preparing "SUE," the largest and most complete T. rex yet discovered. Preparation of...
  • Chicago’s tyrant lizard... SUE was unveiled at the Field Museum in 2000. Besides rapidly becoming a Chicago icon, the specimen has proven extremely valuable to research on tyrannosaur body size, growth rates, and locomotion....
  • Where the magic... An overview of the RAM fossil prep lab....
  • Getting down to... The air-abrasion set-up, using a standard Wild Heerbrugg M6 microscope. Air-abrasion is used to prepare fish specimens from the Green River Fm. of Wyoming. This technique, if used carefully, can be used to lightly clean...
Visit All Our Fossils

RAM Fossil Preparation Lab
Fossil Lab Equipment

  • Leica S8 Apochromatic Microscope with Ring LIght for very fine, close-up preparation
  • Air Abrader for matrix removal
  • Micro air scribes for fine work.
  • Chicago Pneumatic air scribes for heavy work.
  • Molding and casting equipment
  • Large capacity air compressor
  • Dust collector for safety
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Work History
Researchers and institutes Robert has worked for

Paul Sereno, Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy: Theropod and sauropod dinosaurs, fossil crocodiles, pterosaurs, fossil birds, multituberculate mammals from worldwide localities. Prepared many hominid skeletons from Niger, Africa.

Neil Shubin, Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy: The skull of Tiktaalik roseae, an extinct sarcopterygian from the late Devonian sediments of Ellesmere Island, Northern Canada. Tiktaalik is the subject of Dr. Shubin’s best-selling book Your Inner Fish.

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RAM charges by the hour for fossil prep.

RAM charges by the hour for fossil prep.
Base fee – $50.00

We require half the estimated payment up front for the base fee. Final payment before shipment of fossil.

Payment in advance for the block fees.
All fossils are FOB the RAM lab. You are responsible for shipping fees. We will follow your instructions.

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Contact to
Robert Masek

Robert Masek
Info 'at' RAMfossilpreparation.com
Chicago, IL USA
dial : 708-601-9479.

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