IT HAS ARRIVED!
Our director & chief curator Matthew Mossbrucker has gently unpacked our new allosaur skull - along with lower jaw and partial neck - for permanent display at the museum. This skull represents a local dinosaur species that still remains a mystery some 134 years after its discovery at Morrison, Colorado.
Nearly two years ago, Mossbrucker discovered part of an allosaur jaw in Jurassic beds near Morrison. He nicknamed the specimen in honor of his son, Owen, who was celebrating his sixth birthday that same day. Since then, museum volunteer Doug Hartshorn found more of the allosaur skull.
Morrison Museum staff hopes that the allosaur skull bones will help to shed light on the “King of the Jurassic” - as these are the first diagnostic allosaur remains from Morrison.
“A handful of teeth were collected in the late 1870s, but teeth are not useful in discerning allosaur species.” remarks Mossbrucker, “a beaten-up, partial lower leg bone was recognized more than a decade ago, but again, it was not helpful in broadening our understanding of our local Jurassic apex predator.”
Mossbrucker and crew look forward to cleaning the allosaur skull material out of granite-hard sandstone. The process will take at least two years.
“In the end, we aim to refine our understanding of this fascinating Late Jurassic ecosystem,” noted Mossbrucker.
This wonderful cast was made possible by the generous donations of the Rudy and Alice Ramsey Family Foundation, T Caneer, John Sunesen, and generous museum visitors.
The cast allosaur skull will go on display during ‘Dinosaur Day’ Saturday May 26. The museum is open at ten daily. An element from Owen the Allosaur’s skull can be viewed in the Paleontology Lab as a part of daily museum tours at the Morrison Natural History Museum.