dinosaur museum

July 2016 Newsletter

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Courtesy of R. Martin
Discovery in Montana
Nate Murphy, Judith River Dinosaur Institute’s head paleontologist, saw some bones sticking out on the side of a hill on a ranch in Montana. What Murphy and his team uncovered was a massive vertebrae, the torso and some ribs of an animal that belongs to the long neck family.

It will probably come in at well over a 100 feet long. That means the thigh bone is going to be over six feet tall and the hips will be the size of a Volkswagen bug. “We think that it could possibly be a new type of dinosaur but we’re going to wait until we get more of it out of the ground,” says Murphy.

This summer is when Murphy and 80 volunteers will continue looking for the rest of this dinosaur which he has named, Monty. With Monty being so huge, Murphy says they’ll have to take off a large chunk of the hill.

Thanks to the use of a 3-D printer this will help replace any missing bones. “This is going to be really neat to see this animal appear out of the ground after 150 million years. It gives me goosebumps”, Murphy says. When they finish digging, cleaning and assembling, Monty will be put on display in a museum.

An artist’s rendering of Spiclypeus shipporum. Image credit: Mike Skrepnick.
A Decade Old Find
A novice fossil collector’s lucky find in a remote Montana badlands more than a decade ago represents a new kind of spectacularly horned dinosaur, researchers announced on May 18, 2016. Found near Winifred, Montana the bones represent a previously unknown species of dinosaur that lived 76 million years ago. Its scientific name is Spiclypeus shipporum and the nickname “Judith”, is after the Judith River rock formation where it was found in 2005 by retired nuclear physicist Bill Shipp. Canadian Museum of Nature paleontologist Jordan Mallon says Judith is closely related to Triceratops. Both had horned faces and elaborate frills. Judith was a plant eater, about 15 ft. long and weighed up to 4 tons. It was at least 10 years old when it died and the bones show signs of infection that would have made it hard to walk or run. This probably made it easy prey for T.rex predators.

Details on the find were published in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor and catch the trade winds in your sails…Explore, Dream and Discover” ~ Mark Twain

Geri Lebold
Education Director

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