Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Friday, August 2, 2013

Member Night at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with Dr. Sampson

By Jack Shimon
July 2013

I went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) last night.  This was my first member’s night and I want to go to them every time now.  My mom and I went to see Dr. Scott Sampson talk.  He is the new chief curator and Vice President of the Research and Collections division, which I know a little bit about from my Pebble Pups trips there.  He described a new horned dinosaur called nasutoceratops and told us the name means “ big-nosed horned-face” which is very accurate.  I thought the dinosaur looked a lot like a rhino with the horns of a bull.

Nasutoceratops titusi. Image courtesy and by permission of the artist: Andrey Atuchin.
His gallery is at dinoart1.narod.ru and his blog is at andrey-atuchin.blogspot.com. 

Nasutoceratops has a very big nose but they aren’t sure why.  Dr. Sampson had some theories and I thought he was funny when he explained that the part of our nose we can stick our fingers into (not that I would) is the same as the big nose the dinosaur has. The horns can grow up to 10 feet long and there is a horn on the tip of the nose (note…. I don’t know if this is accurate, Jack says it is). This dinosaur is a Cretaceous dinosaur that is 76-million-years-old and lived along the shore of the Western Interior Seaway. The most exciting part for me is that the discovery was just announced last week that these fossils were found in Utah.  A lady asked how the scientists know so much about the dinosaur having just discovered it and Dr. Sampson explained that even though most people were only told about it one week ago scientists found it way before then and have been learning about it before they announced it.

But how did they know what it is? They found most of the skull, neck, part of the body and the legs.  The main part missing was the back but by comparing it to other horned dinosaurs of the same age they can guess what that looked like.  But that doesn’t mean they know exactly what the horns and nose are for.  I think the horns could be for scaring off predators and the big nose could be for a great sense of smell and making sounds to call its herd. At the end of his talk Dr. Sampson said he was going to the lab to see yet another potential new dinosaur that was just found.  I really wanted to go with him. I guess we all have to wait and see what it is. I have read about a lot of dinosaurs in books but it is really neat that a new one was found while I am a kid and they will start writing books about it too.

Jack Shimon and Dr. Scott Sampson

No comments:

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.