Today was the official opening of the new exhibit I helped to create. I showed some people around, giving tours and information. I hope some of the kids which I gave a tour to got something out of the experience of seeing real life dinosaur bones! Here are some more pictures of the exhibit:
A footprint of Eubrontes giganteus , which was probably made by Dilophosaurus wetherelli
The footprint above is a cast of a footprint from Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. It belongs to the ichnogenus Eubrontes giganteus, which is probably the track of a Dilophosaurus wetherelli. These predators grew up to 23 feet long and weighed up to 1.3 tons. That’s one huge dilophosaurid!
Footprints from the Connecticut Dinosaur trackways. In Green: Podokesaurus
In Purple: Anomoepus
In tan: Batrachopus
The tracks above belong to Podokesaurus (outlined in green), Anomoepus (outlined in purple), and Batrachopus (outlined in tan). Podokesaurus (ichnogenus is Grallator) was a small Coelophysid dinosaur that roamed the northeast around 175 million years ago, the same time as Dilophosaurus. It was a small, slender theropod dinosaur which could probably reach a maximum size of 6 feet in length and 90 pounds in weight. Anomoepus was a small ornithopod dinosaur (probably heterodontosaurid) which may have fallen prey to both Dilophosaurus and Podokesaurus. Batrachopus was a small crocodyliomorph (either a protosuchian or an aetosaur, as I depicted it) which scurried around the Connecticut river valley at the same time as the dinosaurs I mentioned above.
A view of the first room:
Pictured are from left to right: A femur and tibia of a juvenile Corythosaurus, A Placenticeras meeki, and a partial Tylosaurus proriger dentary
The Corythosaurus casuarius partial leg exhibited is that of a juvenile, which was previously known as “Prochenisaurus“.The Placenticeras meeki exhibited lived in the Western Interior Seaway alongside Tylosaurus proriger.
Some fish from the green river formation. The large fish(Mioplosus labracoides) had not been examined since Leidy first described it! The other two fish are Priscacara liops and Knightia alta.
Some fossils which I prepared for the exhibit, such as the Mioplosus pictured above, may have not been seen by human eyes since they were gifted to the museum! In fact, when me and the curator of collections pulled the crate the fish was stored in off the collection shelf, I believe saw Leidy’s signature on a paper associated with one fossil. The Knightia, as well as some other fish, had the signature of Othniel Charles Marsh written on the item description on the back of the fossil! These are some real cool specimens if you are interested in the history of paleontology as a science.
Anomoepus and Batrachopus tracks
These fossil footprints were made by an Anomoepus who decided to take a rest. If you enlarge the image, you can clearly see the mark made by the back of the pelvis as well as the tail imprint, which is represented by a small patch of discolored mudstone. Batrachopus also makes an appearance in the upper right corner of the slab.
Overall, it was a ton fun prepping the fossils and creating the illustrations which would accompany them in the actual exhibit. Remember, If you are in the Stamford CT area, consider checking out the exhibit at the Stamford Museum. And thanks for reading!!