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Philly dino news
I'm suprised no one posted this. I can't pass up a chance to brag about
Philly. Excuse the obvious errors (he can't keep Montana and Wyoming
straight- where was the proofing editor!!), and the really cheezy headline:
Philadelphia Inquirer, Jun. 26, 1999
Local dinosaur hunters discover a bona fide bony find
By Mark Jaffe
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Paleontologists from the University of Pennsylvania and the Academy of
Natural Sciences have unearthed a huge 145 million-year-old dinosaur
skeleton in southern Montana.
The animal appears to have been a long-necked, plant-eating sauropod,
similar to the Apatosaurus, which was
about 70 feet long and weighed 30 tons.
"They have hopes that it is a complete skeleton," said Helma Weeks, a
University of Pennsylvania spokeswoman.
The Jurassic dinosaur was discovered on federal Bureau of Land Management
property in the dry grasslands at the foot of the Pryor Mountains. The first
hint of a potential dinosaur find
came last fall when William Donawick, a surgeon at Penn's veterinary school,
was visiting his daughter Melinda and her husband, William Tillett, a
The Tillett family has ranched in Wyoming for several generations, and in
the 1960s John Ostrom, a noted Yale
University paleontologist, found the skeleton of a dinosaur on their land.
In honor of the family, he named the dinosaur Tenontosaurus tilletti.
Donawick and his son-in-law went fossil hunting and discovered
a large bone in an area not far from the spot on the Little Bighorn River
where George Armstrong Custer and his troops were killed by Sitting Bull and
his warriors. The Tilletts' northern Wyoming ranch is about 30 miles to the
Donawick brought the bone back to Philadelphia so veterinary school
colleague Peter Dodson could evaluate it.
Dodson is one of the nation's foremost dinosaur paleontologists and the
discoverer, 12 years ago, of a horned dinosaur -- Ceratops lammi -- in
The two men decided to launch an expedition this summer to
search for more of the dinosaur's bones. The venture is being backed by
Penn, the Academy of Natural Sci ences, and a private donor.
After the first four days of excavation, the six-member team had unearthed
35 complete bones, including a 43-inch shoulder blade, a 53-inch rib, and an
The excavation site is now 18 feet by 30 feet, and bones are still being
discovered. Bones of this type of dinosaur have
been found numerous times in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, but rarely in
The plan is for the bones to be shipped back to Philadelphia. In public view
in the Academy of Natural Sciences' Dinosaur Hall, the bones will be
carefully separated from the rock in which
they are encased and cleaned. They will then become part of the academy's
Other members of the expedition are Tillett; Patricia Kane-Vani, a Bala
Cynwyd attorney and academy volunteer; two graduate students, Matt Lamanna
and Allison Tumarkin; and Jason Poole, manager of the academy's dinosaur
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