Prehistoric Planet specializes in replica fossils. Replica casts are created by molding and then casting an original fossil so all of the detail is preserved, but the original is safely stored in a museum or other responsible collection. Scientists use casts for most modern museum exhibits.
Sometimes replicas are made by reconstructing partial casts or by paleo-artists who sculpt fossils based on scientific references.
Resin or Polyresin or Fiberglass
Resin is a museum-quality durable plastic material. Replicas made from resin are lighter and generally more likely to withstand abuse than hydrostone or plaster casts. Resin casts may be hollow or solid. Large hollow resin casts are often strengthened with fiberglass. Specialized foam resins are also available that preserve all of the detail but with even less weight than regular resins.
Plaster (and Hydrostone)
Plaster is the classic museum-quality replica casting material used by scientists for centuries. Though generally less durable than resin, plaster variants provide more weight to fossil casts. This can can add a more realistic "heft" to fossils of bones or other fossils that are typically heavy and dense.
Reconstruction or Sculpture
Reconstructions are replicas that are only partially cast from original fossils but where paleo-artists have had to sculpt certain missing sections. Sculptures are completely recreated replicas where no original fossil exists or is so rare as to not be readily available. Both reconstructions or sculptures may be resin or plaster.
Prehistoric Planet specializes in replica fossils. However, we sometimes offer authentic fossils of non-rare items. These are actual fossilized bones, teeth, or other unique remains of plants or animals. The original material (bone or leaves, for example) has been partially or completely mineralized (turned to stone) by natural process.