6,000 dinosaur bones arrived in Denver. Next stop: the mall

In what is the largest donation of dinosaur fossils ever made to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, more than 6,000 Edmontosaurus bones have arrived in Denver.

Large bone donation from John Hankla to Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Courtesy of DMNS)
Large bone donation from John Hankla to Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Courtesy of DMNS)
Large bone donation from John Hankla to Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Courtesy of DMNS)

More than 6,000 Edmontosaurus bones have arrived in Denver in the largest donation of dinosaur fossils ever made to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

The collection was amassed during several years of excavations in eastern Wyoming. It includes skulls, vertebrae and limbs from dinosaurs of varying ages, and some of it will soon be on display at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Naturally.

Edmontosaurus was a hadrosaur — a duck-billed herbivore that grew to more than 40 feet long. They lived in western North America at the end of the Cretaceous Period, between 68 and 66 million years ago.

The particular creatures whose remains just arrived at Museum of Nature & Science were probably buried by a sudden flood about 67 million years ago.

“These fossils are spectacular,” Joe Sertich, curator of dinosaurs at the museum, said in a press release.

“The donation is one of the largest collections of dinosaur bones from a single bone bed and includes skulls and other remains from dozens of individuals. It will allow us to study how dinosaurs changed as they grew and how they varied within a single population.”

Large bone donation from John Hankla to Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Courtesy of DMNS)
Large bone donation from John Hankla to Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Courtesy of DMNS)

The fossils were found on private property and donated by the Hankla family of Kentucky. According to a press release, fossils found in this region sometimes end up on the commercial market and sold to collectors around the world.

The bones will be used both for research and for future programs and exhibits. Some blocks of bone and teeth will be on display at the Dinosaur Gulch play area at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center this Saturday, Dec. 2.

 

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers culture and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.