WOODLAND PARK, CO, March 09, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center is the first museum in the world to exhibit these two unique fossil specimens of roughly 80 million years in age.
The ceratopsian skull was carefully collected in Montana's Late Cretaceous Judith River Formation, along with most (over 80%) of the associated skeleton. Even skin impressions were preserved through a naturally occurring partial mummification process. In life, this dinosaur would have been about the size of a small cow, but with a thick, 7-foot-long tail. Until paleontologists have had a chance to fully study and technically describe the fossil, a name will not be assigned to this dinosaur representing a small Triceratops-like species that lived about 10 million years before its larger cousin.
The "saber-toothed salmon" is not a new species to science, but is one that has remained very elusive by leaving mostly partial fossil remains to study. The fully three-dimensional restoration of this ferocious-looking fish known as Enchodus petrosus (En-KO-dus peh-TRO-sus) was the result of a 30-year quest by professional fossil hunter, Mike Triebold. "This specimen has been a long time coming. It took three decades of collecting partial skulls and skeletons to have enough pieces to know exactly what this fish looked like. Pound-for-pound, this has to be the meanest looking fish from the Niobrara Chalk". The numerous specimens used in the reconstruction of this animal were all collected from the Late Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk of Western Kansas.
As fossil remains are rarely complete, portions of a fossil, or even entire bones have to be reconstructed by paleontologists working with artists. Traditionally resizing or mirror-imaging elements has been a painstaking task done by hand. This is a tedious process which introduces opportunity for human error. The restoration of the new specimens going on exhibit was greatly accelerated and produced with digital precision at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center through the use of laser scanning and 3D printing technologies. Explaining the virtues of applying these technologies to paleontology, Mike Triebold shared this: "Scanning with lasers we can digitize even the most delicate specimens; things that might be impossible to mold. We eliminate human error while saving time and mold our 3D printed prototypes which are much less fragile than the original fossils, so they are safer and easier to work with."
These specimens will be on exhibit indefinitely in the galleries of the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, CO.
About the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center:
In the small Colorado town of Woodland Park (elevation 8,465, population 6,515), the RMDRC stands as an educational resource for the region and for the discipline of paleontology worldwide. Over 100,000 guests annually visit the museum. Its galleries are packed with dozens of mounted real and replica skeletons representing a number of fossil species of dinosaurs, marine reptiles, pterosaurs, mammals, and even birds from North America's Late Cretaceous. The RMDRC's parent company is Triebold Paleontology, Inc. which is a full-service paleontological firm that collects, prepares, replicates, and distributes natural history exhibit components to museums around the world. TPI's main laboratory is housed in the RMDRC allowing guests to view scientists and artists working on real fossils as part of their museum visit.
Open Year Round, 7 Days/Week with free ~1-hour guided tours included with admission
Monday - Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
Closed on the following holidays:
Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day
Seniors (65+): $10.50
Children 5 - 12: $7.50
Children 4 and under: FREE
Military Discount of $1.00 off all above General Admission with current military ID.
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