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Mini-Museum of Geology & Natural History:

Dinosaurs

dinosaur replica images Dinosaur remains are not found in West Virginia rocks; however, the Mini-Museum has several dinosaur replicas on display.

Museum Hours: 8:00am - 4:45pm EST weekdays; closed weekends and holidays.

Please call ahead if you wish to meet with a geologist: (304) 594-2331

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West Virginia Dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs, flying reptiles named pterosaurs, and aquatic reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs lived in what geologists call the Mesozoic era, about 251 to 66 million years ago. Other than Pleistocene (''Ice Age'') deposits, such as marls and travertine found in limestone caves, the youngest sedimentary rocks in West Virginia are from the Permian era, about 299 to 251 million years ago. (A PDF of the 2018 USGS Geologic Time Scale is here.) In other words, the sedimentary rocks in West Virginia are too old to contain dinosaur remains. The younger Mesozoic rocks have eroded away taking with them any remains of dinosaurs that may have existed in the state. However, we have found the ancestors of dinosaurs in West Virginia. Rocks from Mississippian through the Permian age contain a rich record of four-legged amphibians and reptiles that were ancestors of the dinosaurs. For example, fossils of animals like Dimetrodon, Edaphosaurus, Eryops, Diploceraspis, and Greererpeton have been found in West Virginia.
Edmontosaurus image
Hannah the Edmontosaurus, a real dinosaur skeleton found in North Dakota
While dinosaurs have not been found in West Virginia rocks, we do have them on display at the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) Museum. We have the only authentic dinosaur skeleton in the state on exhibit, an Edmontosaurus (hadrosaur, duckbill) found in North Dakota which is 8 feet high and 16 feet long. We have replica skulls of Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Allosaurus fragilis to name a few, and real dinosaur eggs. Our dinosaur exhibits are expanding and we invite you to visit the museum at the WVGES offices at Mont Chateau and online.

Here are just a few of the dinosaurs we have on display

Allosaurus fragilis Fleshed-out juvenile Allosaurus fragilis dinosaur model from the Morrison Formation (Jurassic Period) of central Utah, affectionately known as Al (Photo: John M. Bocan)
Dimetrodon image
Dimetrodon replica skeleton
Museum Curator: E. Ray Garton: Curator@PrehistoricPlanet.com
Page last revised July 2019.
Please send web site questions, comments, or suggestions to webmaster.
WVGES address   WV Geological & Economic Survey
1 Mont Chateau Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
Phone: (304) 594-2331
Fax: (304) 594-2575
info@geosrv.wvnet.edu
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