Dinosaurs and MOR!

Dinosaurs and MOR!

Join us for the 2nd Annual Dinosaurs & MOR! events on April 14 and 15, 2023. This national gathering of leading paleontologists will unite hundreds of people and feature renowned scientists from around the country. 

This two-day event is designed for both adults and families with children. It will feature various activities to celebrate the science of paleontology, including a keynote talk from John “Jack” Horner, Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, former Curator of Paleontology at MOR, and scientific advisor to the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Series. 

Please read on for the multi-event details and their ticketing links.

Thank you to our Featured Sponsors: The Oakland Companies, Gary and Melissa Oakland and Epicurus Fund at Donors Trust.

Friday, April 14, 2023 | Dinosaurs and MOR! Member Appreciation Evening

The 2nd Annual Dinosaurs and MOR! kicks off on Friday Evening with a Members-only Appreciation Night

  • Renowned paleoartist and dinosaur graphic novel author Ted Rechlin will screen a preview of The Tale of Horns and Teeth!, an animated film he is producing for MOR.
  • Right after the premiere, hang around for a panel discussion with Ted, MOR’s Paleontology Curator Dr. John Scannella, and Director of Exhibitions Scott Williams on how the film was made, what does the science say, and what is speculation?
  • John “Jack” Horner will be signing his new book, Lily & Maia: A Dinosaur Adventure
  • Paleo-themed activity stations in the exhibit galleries, including the Montana Dinosaur Trail and Montana Gem and Mineral Society
  • Many of Saturday's world-class paleontology guest speakers will be present to meet.
  • Light reception of drinks and snacks

5:30 – 8 p.m. | All ages
RSVP is not required

April 15, 2023 | Dinosaurs and MOR! All Access Lecture Package

Adults (and perhaps some families) will enjoy 10 paleontology presentations from world-renowned paleontologists. There will be several opportunities to bid on special paleontology-themed collectibles during the paleontology presentations, from fossil casts to signed books, posters, and more!
Purchase the Dinosaurs and MOR! All Access Lecture Package.
Registration is highly recommended as this lecture series may sell out.

9:20 – 9:30 a.m. | Opening Remarks by Museum of the Rockies’ Dr. John Scannella, John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology, and Scott A. Williams, Director of Exhibitions

9:30 – 10 a.m. | Dr. Brandon Peecook, Assistant Professor and Assistant Curator of Biology at Idaho State University

Triassic Safari: On the Hunt for the First Dinosaurs Across Southern Pangea
When and where did dinosaurs first evolve, and what were the ecosystems they lived in really like? For over a decade, Brandon and his colleagues have been traveling to the Luangwa Basin in Zambia to discover new Permian and Triassic fossils, including many new species (and dodging elephants, lions, and crocs).

10 – 10:30 a.m. | Rebecca Hunt–Foster, Curator and Park Paleontologist at Dinosaur National Monument

The Fossils of Dinosaur National Monument
In northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, the Dinosaur National Monument (DINO) covers over 210,000 acres and contains 23 mapped geologic units. Beyond the well-known late Jurassic dinosaur fauna found in the Carnegie Quarry and the reason DINO was established as a national monument, a wealth of other fossil sites is also preserved, including Cambrian trilobites and possible early fish.

10:30 – 11 a.m. | Break

11 – 11:30 a.m. | Dr. Laura Wilson, Professor of Geosciences, Geology Graduate Coordinator, Geosciences, Chief Curator at Sternberg Museum of Natural History

Surviving Hell’s Aquarium: Life and Death in the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway
Eighty-five million years ago, the middle of North America was covered by an ocean filled with massive sharks, bony fish, and marine reptiles. And in a world of big predators with big teeth, you better grow up fast or get the heck out of Dodge.

11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Dr. John Scannella, John R Horner Curator of Paleontology at Museum of the Rockies / Montana State University

Through the Eyes of “Yoshi’s Trike”: A Triceratops from the Hell Creek Formation, Montana
At the twilight of the Cretaceous Period, Triceratops was the most common dinosaur across the region known today as Montana. Hundreds of specimens of this horned dinosaur, ranging from juveniles to giants, have been discovered over the years, and each one has a story to tell. In this presentation, you will encounter “Yoshi’s Trike,” a large Triceratops with massive horns that is helping us understand how these dinosaurs lived, grew, and evolved.

12 – 1:30 p.m. | Lunch on Own

1:30 – 2 p.m. | Dr. Kristi Curry Rogers, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Biology and Geology at Macalester College

Deciphering Dinosaur Lives: From Microscopes to Madagascar
Sauropods are the iconic long-necked dinosaurs, and over the past 25 years, nearly everything that we thought we knew about these remarkable dinosaurs has changed. They are no longer dimwitted icons of extinction. Instead, they are an extraordinarily successful group that evolved their specialized body plan early in their evolutionary history, pushed the limits of terrestrial body size, and were among the last surviving dinosaurs in the Cretaceous Period. How did they do it? From exciting discoveries in the field in Madagascar, to new information gleaned from microscopic investigations of sauropod bones, Dr. Kristi Curry Rogers will fill us in on the new and improved sauropod.

2 – 2:30 p.m. | Dr. Denver Fowler, Curator of Badlands Dinosaur Museum at Dickinson Museum Center

Sail away - new ideas about why long vertebral spines evolved in dinosaurs like Spinosaurus, Iguanodon, and many more
Many dinosaurs evolved long neural spines on their back and tail vertebrae and are reconstructed as possessing a tall narrow "sail" down the back. Here Dr. Fowler presents new ideas about how these spines may have functioned, with implications for how we think about many other kinds of dinosaurs.

2:30 – 3 p.m. | Dr. Dana Rashid, Assistant Professor, Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Montana State University

Spine Evolution in Dinosaurs and Mammals
What made a sauropod spine so long and a bird spine so short? Why do mammals have such a strange spinal cord? We are exploring these questions by looking at pre- and post-natal development and are discovering that evolutionary changes in the Mesozoic were key to shaping the modern-day bird and mammal backbone.

3 – 3:30 p.m. | Break

3:30 – 4 p.m. | Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Associate Research Professor of Biology at North Carolina State University and Division Head at NC State Museum of Natural History

The Mid-Cretaceous Melting Pot: New Dinosaur Discoveries Reveal What Life was like in Western North America as the Late Cretaceous Dawned
Get a sneak peek at some of North America’s newest dinosaurs. Dr. Zanno will introduce her team’s discoveries in the uppermost Cedar Mountain Formation of central Utah, including a new species of burrowing dinosaur, the most complete clutches of oviraptorosaur eggs in North America, and even some of the earliest, and most diminutive ancestors of T. rex and Triceratops.

4 – 4:30 p.m. | Dr. Thomas Carr, Associate Professor of Biology at Carthage College

A Look Back on the Tyrannosaur Family Tree
The tyrannosaur family tree has grown in the last 23 years from a spindly sapling at the turn of the century to a tangled bank by the first quarter of the 21st century. Dr. Carr reviews his role in this research, with a special emphasis on tyrannosaur evolution and growth.

4:30 – 5 p.m. | Dr. Kathryn Krasinski, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Adelphi University

When Paleontology and Archaeology Collide: The Example of the Lindsay Mammoth Site, Montana
Mammoths and people lived together in Montana and across the Americas at the end of the last ice age. Learn how scientists search for clues of these ancient connections on the Lindsay Mammoth Bones from Montana.

April 15, 2023 | Dinosaurs and MOR! Family Day

Saturday’s Dinosaurs and MOR! events offer something for all ages and interest levels.

Families will enjoy paleo-passport activity stations throughout the Siebel Dinosaur Complex, the Dinosaur Prophesy show in the Taylor Planetarium, and several dino-tastic workshops led by MOR educators.

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | All Ages
Included with membership/admission
Registration is not required for the paleo-passport activity stations.

About Dinosaur Prophesy: Solve four cold cases from the Age of Dinosaurs! Long before the dinosaurs' massive extinction 66 million years ago, many individual species disappeared. Visit dinosaur graveyards, study their bones, and reconstruct how these creatures lived and died to solve four famous cold cases from the age of the dinosaurs. Suitable for general audiences, grades 2 – 8.

April 15, 2023 | Dinosaurs and MOR! Workshops

Hone your dino skills in one or all four workshops focusing on paleo drawing, diorama making, and cast painting.

Paleoart Drawing Workshop with Ted Rechlin | 10 - 11 a.m.
Learn how to draw dinosaurs with expert paleoartist Ted Rechlin. Ted is the author and illustrator of graphic novel-style books, including Jurassic, which won the silver medal for the graphic novel of the year from Foreword Reviews and Sharks: A 400 Million Journey. Learn how to make your own dinosaurs come alive - on paper! Pre-registration required. All supplies provided. Register for this workshop.

Paleoart Drawing Workshop with Ted Rechlin | 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
This is a repeat of the 10 a.m. workshop. Register for this workshop.

SOLD OUT - Mini Dinosaur Diorama Workshop | 2 - 3 p.m.
Make your own mini dinosaur diorama in this fun workshop! Learn how paleontologists reconstruct paleoenvironments with Outreach Program Manager Ashley Hall, and then craft your own mini diorama scene using tiny dinosaurs, rocks, plants, and a real paleoart backdrop panel by famed paleoartist Douglas Henderson. Recommended for children with adult supervision, teens, and kids at heart (adults). All materials and museum admission are included in the workshop fee.

SOLD OUT - Paint Your Own Fossil Cast Workshop | 3:30 - 5 p.m.
What are fossil casts, and why are they important? In this fun, family-friendly workshop, learn how paleontologists make a replica fossil from a real one and how we use replicas for science and education. Then, you will receive a fossil cast of your very own to paint and take home. All materials and museum admission are included in the workshop fee.

SOLD OUT - April 15, 2023 | Dinosaurs and MOR! Dinner and Keynote with John “Jack” Horner

Dinosaurs & MOR! wraps with our Saturday evening paleontology dinner and keynote presenter, John “Jack” Horner, Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, recipient of two honorary doctorates, and former Curator of Paleontology at MOR. Jack’s talk will be How the MOR Vertebrate Paleontology Collection Came to be: A Curatorial History.