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Fighting Dino exhibit


I visited the AMNH's "Fighting Dinosaurs" exhibit over the weekend and
thought I'd post a few notes on it and list the specimens on display. Great
stuff! After working on a sculpture of the fighting dinos on and off for 6
months (working only from photos and written descriptions) it was a curious
feeling to see something for the first time and feel that you knew it well.

The exhibit is divided into eight sections: 1) The desert at night--diorama
of the Ulkhaa Tolgod region of the Gobi as it may have looked 80 million
years ago; 2) Understanding the past; 3) Fossil preservation in the Gobi; 4)
the diversity of life (understanding dinosaur growth, behavior and variety);
5) the link between birds and dinos; 6) The rise of mammals; 7) a kid's
section on "hands on" digging for dinos; and 8) computer stations with dino
links.  The whole exhibit was extremely well done, but I was most taken by
the fossils themselves---particularly the extraordinary preservation and
preparation of the tiny mammals and dinosaur embryos. Beautiful work all
around. There are also two continuously running fims, one on the history of
fossil exploration in the Gobi and the other a really neat short film
showing one view of the last moments in the lives of the famous "fighting

Here's a list, based on my notes, of what's on display in this exhibit. All
the specimens are from the Gobi and all from roughly the same time period.
I've listed the Gobi locale and the date the specimen was collected after
the name or brief description, followed by the specimen number. I took quite
a few pictures, which I will post if they come out (the room was quite dark
and everything was behind plexiglass, which made photography a bit tricky):

*_Deltatheridium_ (1998) Ukhaa Tolgod MAE 51;
*_Ukhaatherium nessovi_ (1994) Ukhaa Tolgod MAE 105;
*_Zalambdalestes mongoliensis_ (1996) Ukhaa Tolgod MAE 131;
*_Kryptobataar_ (1995) Ukhaa Tolgod MAE 150

*_Carusra intenedia_ (1996) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 3/16;
*_Gobiderma pulchrum_ (1996) Udan Sayr IGM 3/55;
*Unnamed lizard (1997) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 3/173;

*Nesting adult (1993) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/979;
*Nesting adult (1995) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/1018;
*Hatchling oviraptorid skull (1993) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/973;
*Juvenile oviraptorid skull (1993) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/1009;
*Two adults, awaiting description. Found beside one another, but not in
contact, one with broken neck. (1995) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/1002 and IGM
*Oviraptorid skull (1994) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/978;
*Oviraptorid egg (1923) Flaming Cliffs AMNH 6508;

*_Velociraptor mongoliensis_ (1995) Flaming Cliffs IGM 100/982;
*The "fighting dinosaurs" [_Velociraptor mongoliensis_ and _Protoceratops
andrewsi_] (1923) Tugrugeen Shireh IGM 100/25;
*_Velociraptor mongoliensis_ [skull] (1923) Flaming Cliffs AMNH 65/5;
*"New dromeosaur" [skull, under investigation] (1995) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM

*_Protoceratops andrewsi_  (1923) Flaming Cliffs AMNH 6418;
*Protoceratopsian nest with 13 fossil embryos (1997) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM
*Protoceratopsian embryo skull (1997) Ukhaa Tolgod 100/1021;
*Protoceratopsian hatchling skull (1997) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/1020
*Protoceratopsian juvenile skull (1997) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/1019;
_Protoceratops andrewsi_ (1923) Flaming Cliffs AMNH 6425;

Other dinosaurs
*"New dinosaur" [unpublished but noted as having "raptor like " traits]
(1997) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 97/155;
*_Byranosaurus jaffei_ [named in Spring of 2000, noted as "possible link
between Troodontids and modern birds"] (1993) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/983;
*Troodontid nest with 13 hatched eggs and one hatchling skeleton. (1995)
Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/1003;
*_Pinacosaurus grangerid_ [skull;ankylosaur] (1995) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM
*_Shuvuuia deserti_ [noted as "resembling Mononykus, and having "tiny hollow
fibers" interpreted as feathers] (1993) Ukhaa Tolgod IGM 100/977;
*_Shuvuuia deserti_ [the hind leg and pelvis fragment found in the 20's but
not described until recently] (1923) Flaming Cliffs AMNH 6524.

All in all, a great exhibit and well worth the trip if you can make it.  And
I found it humorous, given the recent discussions about dinosaur exhibits,
that the most common question I overheard the kids asking was "Are they