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New exhibit at Smithsonian NMNH

Hello everyone,

I've been lurking on this list for a couple of years, but have never posted 
before.  I'm a volunteer at the new Dinosaur Park in Maryland (which some of 
you may know as Muirkirk or even "Tom Lipka's site")  Here's an announcement I 
received from Matt Carrano at the NMNH that I wanted to pass along:


Exhibit opening - April 28 - "Dinosaurs in Our Backyard"

Good afternoon,

I would like to cordially invite everyone to attend the opening of a new 
permanent exhibition in the Paleobiology Halls, entitled "Dinosaurs in Our 
Backyard," next Wednesday, April 28, at 11 a.m.  The exhibit will display 
dinosaurs and other fossils from the DC area, and represents the culmination of 
a collaborative effort between the NMNH, Maryland-National Capital Parks and 
Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), and amateur fossil collectors from throughout 
our area.  It is located in the rear of the main Dinosaur Hall, adjacent to the 

The exhibit is centered on specimens from our collections that were found at 
the Muirkirk fossil site, located near Beltsville, Maryland and now preserved 
by M-NCPPC as "Dinosaur Park."  These fossils document a terrestrial ecosystem 
in Maryland from 110 million years ago, and include plants, fishes, reptiles, 
dinosaurs, and mammals.  A vivid painting by Mary Parrish accompanies the 
fossils and allows visitors to appreciate what these organisms might have 
looked like in their living environment, which included some of the earliest 
known flowering plants.

The display also features a new species of nodosaur (armored dinosaur), 
represented by an unusual fossil of a juvenile individual that was donated by 
Maryland resident Ray Stanford, and which will be designated as a type specimen 
in a forthcoming publication.  The important work of local amateur collectors 
is highlighted by several additional specimens on display and a series of wall 
panels.  An accompanying wall-sized map shows every site where dinosaurs have 
been found in North America, along with outcrops of Mesozoic-age rocks, 
encouraging visitors to explore their own "backyard dinosaurs."

In the coming months, we will be developing a website that provides more detail 
about the fossils and how scientists study and learn from them, along with 
additional opportunities to explore the topics of the exhibition.

Please join us on Wednesday for a brief opening ceremony and a tour of the new 


Dave Hacker

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