Southwestern Adventist University to Establish a Dinosaur Museum
by Adventist Today News Team
A donation of $250,000 has been received to exhibit the collection of dinosaur bones and fossils that has resulted from summer field trips since 1996. University president Eric Anderson discussed the project at a local Rotary Club meeting last week according to the Cleburne Times Review. Julie Roberts, a Southwestern alumna “who has spearheaded fund raising and grant efforts on behalf of the City of Cleburne” has agreed to coordinate efforts to raise the additional funds needed.
Dr. Art Chadwick, professor of biology and geology at Southwestern, told the Rotary Club about “Dinodig” which is scheduled for May 31 through June 29 in 2012. Students, teachers looking for in-service education credits and anyone interested in hands-on experience with the excavation of ancient remains can register for the summer course.
Last summer the participants found “about 2,000 bones” at the site near Newcastle, Wyoming, which the university web site describes as “one of the largest dinosaur sites in the world.” The program includes “lectures on paleontology, biology of dinosaurs, geology and taphonomy,” the newspaper reported. It explained that “taphonomy” is “the science of figuring out how the bones of fossils came to be the way they are by concentrating on what happened between the time the animal was alive and the discovery of its bone or fossil remains.”
“Chadwick hypothesized that a single catastrophic event likely killed the dinosaurs in the area and an encroaching sea subsequently deposited and buried their carcasses en masse deep beneath waters, which has long since receded. Being encased underground left the bones relatively intact, Chadwick said.” As evidence he cited “irregularities within sedimentary formations throughout the area and other anomalies, such as the fact that while about 95 percent of the dinosaur bones found in the area come from duckbill dinosaurs, one site in the same area contained about 500 bones of numerous dinosaur breeds, but no duckbills.”