U paleontologist to host dino lecture tonight

By By Michael McFall, News Editor

By Michael McFall, News Editor

U researchers are still piecing together an incomplete picture of the world of dinosaurs, but tonight, one of them unveils what little more humans know.

Scott Sampson, chief curator of the Utah Museum of Natural History, will present the findings he and other Utah paleontologists have made in the past few years about the enormous, extinct lizards in a lecture tonight at Judge Memorial High School, including a showcase of about 10 new dinosaurs.

“We’re still figuring out what they are and giving them names, but they are telling us a story that we really didn’t know about their world,” Sampson said.

Sampson, who for his achievements and reputation in the dinosaur community was appointed host of “Dinosaur Train,” a new PBS children’s show, is also using tonight’s event to launch his book tour. Sampson is the author of Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life, which explores the ancient world dinosaurs inhabited as an explanation for how they lived, evolved and died.

Sampson and his team uncovered several dinosaur species as big rhinos or elephants that lived together on a strip of land a fifth the size of North America. Yet only one species of elephant lives on the entire African continent.

“So there was either a lot more food or they didn’t need to eat as much,” Sampson said.
It’s still an incomplete picture, but in Southern Utah, the state’s paleontologists are finishing the puzzle. They make at least two to three discoveries each year, said Mark Loewen, a U geology and geophysics professor who ventures down to Southern Utah with other bone-seekers to unearth the hidden world of dinosaurs.

Sampson’s lecture is at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.umnh.utah.edu.

[email protected]