Dinosaur discoveries in Montana

The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a team of dinosaur experts and preparators from the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., have discovered and excavated new fossil dinosaur specimens in Montana. Two Tyrannosaurus rex specimens and a Triceratops specimen are among the discoveries at 12 excavation sites near Hell Creek, Mont. A helicopter will airlift these specimens from the remote excavation sites to the team's base camp on Saturday, Aug. 24 (weather permitting). Media should contact Michele Urie, Smithsonian Institution, at (202) 786-2950 to attend the helicopter air lift.

The expedition was led by Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies. Horner was also recently named senior scholar in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

A partial T. rex found in Hell Creek and excavated by the Smithsonian team will be donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The T. rex was found on U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service land by Nathan Myrvold, who was visiting the Museum of the Rockies team during their field season in 2001. The nickname for this specimen, "N. rex," honors Mr. Myrvold. A second, more complete T. rex found in Hell Creek will go to the Museum of the Rockies.

"The addition of T. rex fossil bones to the Smithsonian is significant," said Doug Erwin, interim director and curator in the paleobiology department at the Natural History Museum. "The Smithsonian field expedition team has succeeded in their quest to expand the museum's extensive and important collections for future study and research."

The Smithsonian's field team, led by Michael Brett-Surman, Pete Kroehler and Steve Jabo, worked in Hell Creek from June 6 to July 16. The crews endured torrential rain, hail, 70 mph winds, extreme temperature changes and other natural weather challenges throughout their

Contact: Michele Urie
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

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