Dinosaurs under the big sky

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Maiasaura Vertebrae

TC: TC96.23.275 (x2), TC96.23.276

Contents: three brown Maiasaura vertebrae casts—two healthy, two fused together that are diseased
The two fossilized Maiasaura vertebrae on the left above are healthy. The other two were fused together while the dinosaur was still alive. Many visitors think that the single healthy vertebrae are turtle fossils. If visitors mention this, it is an opportunity to ask the visitor what they think bones inside a turtle would be like.Early Cretaceous/Deinonychus

Semi-lunate Carpals from Deinonychus and Saurornitholestes

TC: n/a

Contents: Four gray semi-lunate carpel casts—two large and two small

The semi-lunate carpal is one of the skeletal elements found in some dinosaurs’ skeletons that provides evidence that dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds. This bone, found in the wrist of modern birds and some maniraptorian dinosaurs (one group of theropod dinosaurs) helps the animal to fold its wrist joint laterally so that its metacarpals are close to parallel to its forearm. This increased range of motion is important for wing dynamics during flight.

Velociraptor Skull

TC: n/a

Contents: one skull cast in clear resin
This is a replica of a Velociraptor skull. Velociraptor is found in Mongolia, but is very similar to Deinonychus which is found in Montana.

Deinonychus claw casts

TC: n/a

Contents: Two gray Deinonychus claw casts
The top claw pictured above is a hind limb claw from a Deinonychus, and the one below is a forelimb claw. Forelimb claws are more recurved than those of hind limbs.

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