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New Dakota the Dinomummy exhibit to premier

BISMARCK – A new Dakota the Dinomummy exhibit will have its public premier at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck on Saturday, Oct. 16, with a full day of events, lectures, tours, and a “Land Before Time” film showing.

The updated exhibit includes interactive experiences and updated research findings about this rare Edmontosaurus discovered in 1999 near Marmarth in southwestern North Dakota. Dakota’s tail, an arm, and a foot are included in the new exhibit. Museum visitors will be able to touch a 3-D replica of a skin section from Dakota’s tail.

Dakota is a significant part of the region’s fossil record and has been part of national research studies. Dakota is an adolescent Edmontosaurus, a plant eater that weighed about 4 tons when alive. Scientists believe it could run up to 28 mph. Dakota the Dinomummy exhibit content has been created by staff of the State Historical Society of North Dakota and North Dakota Geological Survey.

“Dakota is a rare and significant fossil specimen because of its preserved skin and other soft tissue,” said Audience Engagement & Museum Department Director Kim Jondahl. “Our updated exhibit focuses on new information and research about Dakota, as well as a 3-D replica of Dakota’s skin that visitors can touch. This is as close as people can come to petting a dinosaur.”

Dakota Dinomummy Day kicks off with an exhibit ribbon cutting at 11:15 a.m. Activities will also feature a reading of “Prehistories: Dakota the Dinomummy” by author Becky Barnes and presentations by North Dakota Geological Survey paleontologists Jeff Person and Becky Barnes. Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, Ph.D., a renowned paleontologist and professor, will present on new discoveries about Dakota from current research studies. Paleontology Laboratory tours will be available from noon to 3 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to speak with professionals who were involved in the excavation and research of the dinomummy. A free film screening of a children’s dinosaur movie will begin at 2 p.m. Crafts and coloring activities are available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The James River Cafe will have dinosaur cookies and bratasaurs available. Find a full schedule of activities at history.nd.gov.

“Dinner with Dakota the Dinomummy” is an additional ticketed event on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This event includes a first look at the Dakota the Dinomummy exhibit, dinner, Paleontology Laboratory tours, and a special presentation about the feeding tactics of the Jurassic meat-eating dinosaur Allosaurus by Drumheller-Horton. Find more information at bit.ly/DinomummyDinner. The event is sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota, North Dakota Geological Survey Paleontology, and the Friends of NDGS Paleo.

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