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Dakota, la mummia di dinosauro, al Museo

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Rare mummified dinosaur exhibit opens at Heritage Center on Saturday

Jun 08, 2008 – 04:06:39 CDT
A mummified dinosaur, one of the rarest fossils ever found, will be on public display at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck beginning Saturday. The duck-billed hadrosaur, nicknamed “Dakota,” was discovered in 1999 by Tyler Lyson, now a doctoral student in paleontology at Yale University, on his uncle’s ranch near Marmarth in southwestern North Dakota. When he saw it, Lyson knew he had found something very special. The nearly complete hadrosaur fossil has skin, bones and tendons preserved in sandstone.

Saturday’s activities will begin at 9 a.m. with a program and ribbon cutting opening the exhibit, “Dakota: A Mummified Dinosaur,” followed by a symposium of speakers and other events continuing until 5 p.m.

“This duckbill’s skin is remarkably preserved, making Dakota one of the most scientifically important dinosaurs ever found,” said state paleontologist John Hoganson with the North Dakota Geological Survey. He estimates the hadrosaur weighed about 4 tons when living, and was a plant eater. Dakota was buried quickly after death, about 67 million years ago, and its skin and other soft tissues were replaced by minerals.

The hadrosaur is one of only a few naturally preserved dinosaur mummies discovered. Unlike previous dinosaur mummies, which typically show skin impressions in rock, Dakota’s entire skin envelope appears to be mostly intact. Final excavation of the dinosaur took place in 2006.

All events will be free and open to the public.

In conjunction with the exhibit opening will be a symposium featuring Phillip Manning of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, who has supervised the project. Other scientists who have been doing research on the fossil will address topics ranging from sedimentology to designing computer simulations of how the animal moved. Hoganson will begin the symposium at 10 a.m. with an introduction to the Hell Creek Formation where Dakota was found, followed by Manning and other speakers, who will present in the Russell Reid Auditorium until 4 p.m.

A special gallery talk for children will include Manning reading from his children’s book, “Dinomummy: The Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek,” at 2:30 p.m.

Cookies and punch and a book-signing session with Manning and Hoganson from 4 to 5 p.m. will conclude the symposium. Their books will be available in the Heritage Center’s museum store, along with dinosaur T-shirts, books and tattoos.

Since the arrival of the 4-ton body block and smaller tail block at the Heritage Center on Feb. 5, preparators have been working steadily to uncover the tail for exhibit. “It will take another year or so to free the rest of the hadrosaur from the rock it’s entombed in,” said Hoganson.

The National Geographic Society, a major contributor to the excavation, preparation and research on Dakota, has published two books and produced a National Geographic Channel television program called “Dino Autopsy” about the rare find. The program is now being shown regularly in the North Dakota Heritage Center’s theater near the auditorium.



giugno 9, 2008 - Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, America Northern, Musei, P - Preservazione eccezionale, Paleontology / Paleontologia, Video | , , , , , , ,

1 commento »

  1. […] Dakota, la mummia di dinosauro, al Museo […]

    Pingback di 2008-10-28 - Utah, USA: Nuovi interrogativi sulle mummie di dinosauro (Dinosaur mummies) « PaleonewsITA | ottobre 28, 2008


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