Hands on experience

Dinomummy exhibit getting update

Eloise Ogden/MDN An exhibit of Dakota, a rare mummified hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur, is shown in the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. This photo taken in April 2018 shows the exhibit as it has been since installed in the facility several years ago. When the exhibit update is completed next year it will provide improved visibility of the fossil and museum visitors will also be able to touch a replica of a skin section.

BISMARCK – The State Historical Society of North Dakota and the North Dakota Geological Survey has announced a major exhibit update for Dakota, a rare mummified hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur.

Scheduled for completion in February 2020, the updated exhibit at the N.D. Heritage Center & State Museum will have interactive experiences and additional public information for better understanding of the hadrosaur.

Dakota, one of only a handful of mummified hadrosaurs in the world, was found in 1999 by then high school student Tyler Lyson on his uncle’s ranch near Marmarth in southwestern North Dakota. It has been featured in national and international news reports because of its rare skin preservation. The mummified body, tail, arm, and foot of the hadrosaur have been on exhibit since the State Museum expansion opened in 2014. The arm, foot and tail have been removed for cleaning and research. More of the specimen’s skin will be exposed for the new exhibit.

The 2020 exhibit will provide improved visibility of the fossil. Museum visitors will also be able to touch a replica of a skin section.

“Dakota the dinomummy is an exceptional fossil specimen,” said paleontologist Becky Barnes. “Most of the time when people think about fossils, they think of bones or shells – not skin. We want to update this exhibit to showcase that rare aspect. Using 3D scanning and printing to create a replica, this will be as close as people can come to actually petting a dinosaur.”

Regular updates will be available at statemuseum.nd.gov, and follow #dinomummy on social media.

The N.D. Heritage Center & State Museum, managed by the State Historical Society of N.D., is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Registration for fossil digs

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Geological Survey Paleontology Program is taking registrations for its 2019 North Dakota Public Fossil Digs planned for this summer.

For more information visit dmr.nd.gov/ndfossil/digs/. Registration can be completed online at 2019ndgspaleodigs.eventbrite.com.