Scientists Discover Duck-Billed Dinosaur Skeleton in Missouri

by Jennifer Shea
scientists-discover-duck-billed-dinosaur-skeleton-missouri

Scientists have unearthed a juvenile duck-billed dinosaur skeleton in Missouri. And the skeleton represents an as-yet-undiscovered genus.

They are keeping the specific location of the discovery under wraps for now due to security concerns. But the Parrosaurus Missouriensis itself is pretty hard to hide. At 25 to 30 feet in length, it’s a monster of a dinosaur.

Paleontologist Guy Darrough uncovered the dinosaur. He told St. Louis news station FOX 2 Now that this find should turn heads.

“I can’t imagine anything that’s more impressive than what we discovered here. A new genus in species. It’s [a] world-famous discovery,” Darrough said.

Scientists Say Location of Find Is a Unique Site

Darrough brought the skeleton to the Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri, according to FOX 2 Now. His next step was to reach out to the Field Museum in Chicago.

“I eventually talked to Pete Makovicky, curator of dinosaurs at the Field Museum,” Darrough said. “He came down and looked and said, ‘Yeah, you guys got dinosaurs.’”

So then Makovicky and his team began digging at the same site. And sure enough, they stumbled upon an adult Parrosaurus Missouriensis skeleton. It was right next to where the juvenile one had been.

Mackovicky told FOX 2 Now that the site where they found the skeletons is “a remarkable site in one of the best dinosaur locals east of the Great Plains.”

Museum Curators ‘Thrilled’ to Be Part of Discovery

While the adult skeleton is headed for the Field Museum, the juvenile one will stay at the Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center’s laboratory. After the museum’s grand opening on Dec. 11, paleontologists and preparers will be working on the skeleton in the lab. Visitors to the museum will be able to watch that process.

The museum said in a statement that they are “thrilled” to be part of the discovery. It will help them to educate visitors about the changes that our planet has undergone over tens of millions of years.

It was roughly 66 million years ago that an asteroid collision triggered global climate change, destroying more than half of the world’s species, including dinosaurs, per The Daily Mail. Scientists believe the asteroid landed in what is now the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting explosion of dust and soot blocked light from the sun. All non-avian dinosaurs disappeared, along with many other species.

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