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U Wyoming's Apatosaurus Getting A Makeover
A prominent member of the University of Wyoming Geological Museum is on a
The 75-foot-long fossil display of the apatosaurus, a sauropod dinosaur
that roamed Wyoming 150 million years ago, has been dismantled except for
a one-ton section of its upper hip area. The dinosaur fossil will return
with its display updated to reflect the latest paleontological research
findings, said Brent Breithaupt, UW Geological Museum director.
"This is our first opportunity to enhance the fossil display since it was
established by Samuel H. Knight in 1960," Breithaupt said. "Professor
Knight did a wonderful job of putting the apatosaurus together based on
the resources and knowledge of the times. We will be able to add some of
the dinosaur's bones that Professor Knight didn't have at the time to
improve the display's looks, such as posing it with its tail in the air
instead of dragging on the ground."
This month, Treibold Paleontology Inc. of Woodland Park, Colo., dismantled
the apatosaurus display. Treibold is a professional firm with expertise in
casting skeletons and fossil mounting. The company will make a cast of the
apatosaurus fossil that will be available for other museums to use for
displays, Breithaupt says.
The apatosaurus fossil was about 60 percent bone, with the rest of the
display cast from molds created by Knight. Treibold will take those pieces
and make them more bonelike in appearance. The company will use a form of
resin to create the new casts that will make those sections, such as the
tail, lighter and easier to manipulate for display.
"This will be a 21st century dinosaur display when it's unveiled next
year," Breithaupt said.
UW's apatosaurus is one of only six such displays in the world.