Usually fossils provide only the hard parts of the original animals. Soft parts almost always have to be reconstructed on the basis of the skeletal morphology. Living analogs provide additional information on the structure, habits, and coloration of the prehistoric animals.
Most paleontological models begin as sculptured prototypes, either in wax or clay, based on the fossils. Molds are made from these prototypes, often in many different pieces, depending on the complexity of the reconstruction. About 25 different basic materials are used for the finished models -- mostly plastics. All materials used in the final models are selected for their durability and longevity. Chase Studio has produced paleontological reconstructions for every geological period, thousands of species, for museums throughout the world.