Burpee Museum digs up new dino - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Burpee Museum digs up new dino


Burpee Museum welcomes some new, very old pieces.

The museum has its biggest discovery, literally, since Jane the T-Rex in 2002. Paleontologists clean and prepare the recently discovered bones, along with several other unique creatures, dug up this summer.

"We found it. We excavated it. We brought it back. We didn't have to buy it. We didn't purchase it. We went out and did the work, found it ourselves, and brought it back," says Scott Williams, Burpee Museum's Director of Exhibits and Science.

He's talking about the newest Triceratops at the Burpee Museum. Burpee's team of experts and volunteers took their annual trip to Hells Creek, Montana to dig up history, and found more than they expected.

Hillary Parks, a Fossil Preparator, goes on all the digs. Now, she spends her days in the lab, labeling and cleaning the bones, so they can later go on exhibit.

"You get to go back into collections and pull all these bones," Park says. "And sometimes they're not labeled, so sometimes you have to go on a hunt and find out, 'Okay, what is this thing that I'm holding?"

Everything from newly found turtles, to a dinosaur's toe, and even parts of Homer, the teenage Triceratops.

Williams says they want to educate people on what dinosaurs were really like, not just the monsters you see in the movies.

"We want to talk about the biology," he says. "How did the Triceratops go from a baby to an adult? What changes did it go through?"

"It's amazing to think that this thing that you're digging up, no matter what it is, hasn't seen the light of day for 65 or more million years," says Parks.

The newest dinosaur exhibit for Homer will open in Spring of 2013.

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