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West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) Museum Receives Donation of Edmontosaurus

Edmontosaurus (Hannah)
Age: Upper Cretaceous
Fomation: Hell Creek Formation
Locality: Bowman County, North Dakota
Recovered, Prepared, and Mounted By: Ray Garton, Steve Nicklas, and Team
With Very Special Thanks To: Mary Ellen Garton, Robert Pyle, E.R. Garton, Hubert Grubb, Jim Chiera, Rob Sula, Rob Peterson, Malcolm Dulock, James Wyatt, and Carl Smith and the Staff of the WVGES
Donated By: Michael and Mercedes Smith (Danville, KY)

Hannah is a species of Edmontosaurus, one of the duckbilled or hadrosaur dinosaurs. Edmontosaurus was up to 42 feet long, about 10 feet tall at the hip, and weighed 3.5 tons. They were easily 16 to 18 feet tall when erect. Hannah was a biped that could also walk on all four legs perhaps to graze on low-lying plants. Edmontosaurus may have lived in large herds for protection from the largest predator of the day, Tyrannosaurus rex. Hannah was one of the last of the dinosaurs and is 67 to 65 million years old. Based on the location and condition of the skeleton, some associated freshwater clams, and plant twig fossils; we believe that Hannah died near a river bank. After the flesh decomposed, the bones were scattered and some even washed away. The bones were later buried in silt by a flood over and over again burying the bones deeper and deeper. Over time the bones fossilized. Millions of years later, 2003 to be exact, some of the bones were exposed by erosion and Hannah was discovered. Eighty percent of the bones in this skeleton are real including the skull, front arm and hand, most of the vertebra, pelvis area, and parts of the tibia. This is the only real dinosaur skeleton on display in West Virginia.

Shown below are photographs that were taken during the recovery and preparation of the Edmontosaurus skeleton. Photographs of the mounted Edmontosaurus skeleton are included as well.

 

Edmontosaurus discovery site
Edmontosaurus discovery site in Bowman County, North Dakota.

 

Team at Edmontosaurus discovery site
Recovery team at the Edmontosaurus discovery site.

 

Lower jaw of Edmontosaurus
Lower jaw of the Edmontosaurus.

 

Ribs and bones of Edmontosaurus
Ribs and bones of the Edmontosaurus.

 

Left tibia of Edmontosaurus
Left tibia of the Edmontosaurus.

 

WVGES museum curator working on Edmontosaurus recovery
WVGES museum curator working on the Edmontosaurus recovery.

 

Lifting a bone of the Edmontosaurus from the discovery site
Lifting a bone of the Edmontosaurus from the discovery site.

 

Laboratory preparation of the left arm of the Edmontosaurus skeleton
Laboratory preparation of the left arm of the Edmontosaurus skeleton.

 

Map showing the location of each Edmontosaurus bone
Map showing the location of each Edmontosaurus bone as found in the field.

 

Artist's conception of how the Edmontosaurus skeleton will be mounted
Artist's conception of how the Edmontosaurus skeleton will be mounted.

 

Edmontosaurus display at the WVGES museum
Edmontosaurus display at the WVGES museum.

 

Volunteers who helped make the Edmontosaurus mount possible
Volunteers who helped to make the Edmontosaurus mount possible include (from left to right):
Frank Woodman, Bob Pyle, Junior Grubb, Jim Chiera, and Emmel Garton.

 

Edmontosaurus benefactors--Mike and Mercedes Smith
Benefactors, Mike and Mercedes Smith, examine the Edmontosaurus display.

 

Edmontosaurus display draws visitors
The Edmontosaurus display is certainly a highlight of the Survey museum and draws much attention from visitors.

 

Edmontosaurus skull close-up
The Edmontosaurus skull close-up.

 

Edmontosaurus teeth close-up
The Edmontosaurus teeth close-up.

 

Edmontosaurus teeth close-up along with clams found at discovery site
The Edmontosaurus teeth close-up along with clams found at the discovery site.

 

Drawing showing a complete Edmontosaurus skeleton
Drawing showing a complete Edmontosaurus skeleton.

  Museum Curator: E. Ray Garton: Curator@PrehistoricPlanet.com

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Page last revised: August 2, 2011

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