From bones in a box to heroes in hollywood
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Dinosaur Valley Museum paleontologist studying recently-discovered sauropod braincase. (Source: From Bones in a Box... Heroes in Hollywood!. The Importance Of Bones. Exposed bones on the surface at the Big Bend dig site.

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From bones in a box to heroes in hollywood

Dinosaur Valley Museum paleontologist studying recently-discovered sauropod braincase.


From Bones in a Box... Heroes in Hollywood!

The importance of bones

The Importance Of Bones

Exposed bones on the surface at the Big Bend dig site

The bone controversy

The Bone Controversy

Pieces of the hip bone from the Tyrannosaurus rex named "Sue" lie unassembled at Chicago's Field Museum shortly after they were delivered from Sotheby's auction house, where the museum purchased them for $8.4 million.

(Source: news/news971107/news1.html)

Removing the bones

Removing the Bones

UT-Dallas staff carrying bones out of the desert

UT-Dallas staff documenting bones in Big Bend

Some bones require cranes and trucks to move them


The paleontology lab

The Paleontology Lab

Collections area and bones from the Dalton Wells Dinosaur Quarry in Utah.

Staff carefully removing fossils from large blocks of rock.



Windows to the Prep Lab let you watch preparators work.

Preparing the bones

Preparing the Bones

Tools are adapted from many professions.

A young volunteer carefully removes rock from a 50-million-year-old fish skeleton.


Skeleton reconstruction

Skeleton Reconstruction


Aligning sauropod vertebrae

Measuring sauropod limb bones

Reconstructed dinosaur skeletons on display at the Smithsonian Museum


Developing the story

Developing The Story

Life-sized reconstruction of T. rex’s left hind leg with foot skeleton.

Artist’s idea of how the Late Cretaceous might have looked.



Bones from the Big Bend site were deposited in an ancient riverbed.

Plant animal fossils

Plant/Animal Fossils

Sandstone slab with more than 520 fresh-water herring from Green River Fm.

(Source: http://

Turtle fossil from Green River Fm.

Petrified trees are also found at the Big Bend dig site.



Trackway with 2 sets of prints: Iguanadon and Megolasaurus.

This theropod track is in the Morrison Formation (Jurassic) of eastern Utah. Notice the greater depth of the track in the toe region, which suggests a horizontal posture for the dinosaur while it was walking.



Iguanodont track, left, compared to a meat-eating dinosaur track.




Tyrannosaurus rex skull from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It is an exact replica of one of the best-preserved T. rex skulls ever found, and one can see there again the large carnivore teeth.

The end of this limb bone from Apatosaurus has parallel toothmarks on it. The spacing of the tooth marks, as well as the individual marks themselves, help to identify what dinosaur was feeding on this apatosaur.

(Source: GEOSCIENCE/HTML/dinotooth.htm)



These could be gastroliths, or they could be just polished stones. One of the major criteria for suspecting gastroliths in this case is that these specimens were found in Mesozoic rocks that were known to contain dinosaurs. Specimens are in the Museum of Western Colorado's Dinosaur Valley, Grand Junction, Colorado.





This coprolite is most likely from a sauropod, owing mainly to its large size (about 40 cm diameter), and age (Jurassic); it is from the Morrison Formation in eastern Utah and the specimen was in the Löwentor Museum of Stuttgart, Germany. Individual dinosaur coprolites actually can be quite small (< 10 cm length) compared to the body size of the tracemakers. For example, modern mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and elks (Cervus canadensis) of North America, animals that can weigh more than 100 kg but leave many individual pellets less than 1 cm in diameter.

Eggs nests

Eggs & Nests


One of the more spectacular dinosaur fossil finds of recent years was of a Late Cretaceous specimen of Oviraptor that was found in a sitting position directly over its nest. This find, a wonderful combination of trace fossils and a body fossil, represents one of the most compelling pieces of evidence for brooding behavior in dinosaurs. This fossil find is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and was illustrated in a National Geographic article.

From bones in a box to heroes in hollywood


This model at Dinosaur Valley provides an idea of how dinosaurs might have looked.

(Source: http://

A natural cast of the skin of a hadrosaurian dinosaur, preserved in sandstone. The skin had a pebbled structure and was devoid of scales.

(Source: McGowan, p. 23)

Artistic rendition

Artistic Rendition

“The World of Dinosaurs”

Commemorative Stamps

Sketch of Allosaurus

(Source: dinosaurs/gallery.htm)

(Source: dinosaurs/firstday.htm)

Animated models

Animated Models

Full-sized Tyrannosarus rex head, purchased from the Dynamation company which makes robotic dinosaurs. The skin, and the color, of course, are an artistic and scientific guess.

(Source: www.bcc.

Fully robotic Allosaurus Fragilis created for the McKinley Museum of Science and History in Ohio. Cut-away shows inner workings of pneumatic system.


Famous dinosaurs

Famous Dinosaurs



Jurassic Park



Barney & Company

(Source: altculture/aentries/g/godzilla.html)


Dinosaur myths

Dinosaur Myths

  • Dinosaurs represent failure & extinction.

  • Dinosaurs and “humans” coexisted.

  • Dinosaurs were either all hot-blooded or all cold-blooded.

  • The word dinosaur means “terrible-lizard”.

  • Whatever you read in the latest “dinosaur book” must be true.

  • Dinosaurs all lived and died at the same time.

  • Mammals arose after the dinosaurs, and helped drive the dinosaurs into extinction by eating dinosaur eggs.

  • An asteroid (or comet) killed the dinosaurs.

  • All big reptiles from the prehistoric past [“Monsters”] are dinosaurs.

  • Archaeologists dig up dinosaurs.

New discoveries

New Discoveries

UT-Dallas crews will continue to explore the Big Bend area and discover new fossil finds.

Zhangheotherium quinquecuspidens is a symmetrodont mammal that lived about 120 to 140 million years ago during the Mesozoic Era. This nearly complete skeleton offers the first glimpse of what these animals looked like and what ecological role they played in a world dominated by dinosaurs. (Photo: Dr. Zhexi Luo)

(Source: discoverynews/news1.html)

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