Thursday, November 7, 2013

Leonardo is Coming to Indianapolis

Robert Bakker with a model of Leonardo from the Dinosaur Mummy CSI exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural History. Photo by Ed Schipul, via Flickr.

When I was younger, dumber, and less awestruck by my home state's natural heritage, I bemoaned the fact that Indiana had no dinosaur fossils to offer. I've gotten over that, of course, but I'm still proud that one of the finest dinosaur exhibits in the country, The Dinosphere, is housed at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis. The museum has announced that it's going to be getting a serious injection of star power next year, as Leonardo, the famous "mummy" Brachylophosaurus, is revealed to the public.

From the museum's announcement:
Leonardo is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as having the best preserved dinosaur remains in the world. For now, visitors will be able to follow the dinosaur’s tale via his tail until the rest of his body is on display in March of 2014. At that time, Leonardo’s Lab will open for children and families to learn everything from what he had for his last meal to how he spent the last few hours of his life.

When this fossilized mummy was carefully unearthed from his grave in Malta, Montana in 2001, researchers had one of the first real looks at the skin, scales, foot pads, and even the stomach contents of the behemoths that roamed the planet 77 million years ago.
Dinosphere manager Mookie Harris - who recently returned to the museum after a stint at a Florida museum - has written about the fossil on the Children's Museum blog, so be sure to check that post out.

If you haven't read my previous posts about the Children's Museum, sit a spell and read about how awesome it is.

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