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Exhibition and Documentary

A new exhibit titled Dinosaur Mummy CSI can be seen at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. This small interactive exhibit is a portion of the larger exhibit that is planned to open in mid-2013 at the museum's new expansion annex.

Leonardo can also be visited at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, Montana. This is just a few miles from where Leo lived and died. This wonderful museum is the permanent home of the mummy dinosaur.

The importance of Leonardo can’t be overstated.  It is more than the stony record of a dinosaur long gone from the Earth.  Leonardo is an icon – a relic of the past, consecrated by time, that will become a powerful symbol of prehistory and the evolutionary process.  One mustn’t think of Leonardo as you might the dinosaur skeletons mounted in countless museums.  Leonardo is as close to a living, breathing dinosaur as mankind will ever see in this and many more lifetimes.  The way Leonardo is preserved makes him as much an object of art as scientific specimen.  In this case, the artist was time itself.

 

 

Press Release

The premiere of "Dinosaur Mummy CSI" comes to Las Vegas
"Leonardo" the most perfectly preserved dinosaur ever found

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Museum of Natural History, in association with Leonardo Project LLC, has developed a unique exhibit featuring the science and technology used to study Leonardo, the most perfectly fossilized plant-eating dinosaur ever discovered-with almost all of his skin still intact. Dinosaur Mummy CSI: Cretaceous Science Investigation opened January 12, 2012 as a permanent part of the museum's paleontology exhibits..

"Leonardo's discovery was groundbreaking for the world of paleontology. It provided science with the best and most complete fossil of a dinosaur ever found. It allowed researchers, such as Dr. Robert Bakker, Dave Trexler and Art Andersen, to ask questions of a fossil that could never before be answered," said Joe Iacuzzo, Project Manager of the research and education programs of the Leonardo Project. "We're thrilled to present Leonardo to the public at the Las Vegas Museum of Natural History, where they can discover many of the secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy."

Who is Leonardo?

Leonardo is a 77 million-year-old adult duckbilled dinosaur, known scientifically as Brachylophosaurus canadensis. His remains are 90 percent covered with fossilized skin, on which the pattern of his body scales are evident. The term "mummy" is used in reference to Leonardo to denote the fact that much of the dinosaur's soft tissue, such as its skin and internal organs, appear to have been fossilized as well, along with the bones.

What makes Leonardo even more extraordinary is that he has given scientists a rare peek "inside" a dinosaur. With modern technology, scientists have analyzed Leonardo using a forensic approach to studying this fossil-and the site where it was found-to determine how he may have lived and died. Using this method, the dinosaur is the "victim," and the scientist has to figure out how it was killed, and by whom. Additional discoveries, such as stomach contents, provide a more complete picture of the ecosystem in which the dinosaur lived - as indicated by the type of plants it ate.

Using this method, evidence of what dinosaurs looked like, what they ate, their muscle mass, limb movement, and more, has been discovered through collaboration between the NDT Group, Carestream Health's Kodak Non-Destructive Testing team and ConAm of Houston's analysis of the specimen. Before this extreme digital technology was applied to this astonishing specimen, paleontologists could only guess at the true structure and function of a dinosaur of this magnitude.

Along with this premiere exhibition, new research is being done to further explore this amazing fossilized dinosaur. Prior to the fossil's arrival at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a special team comprised of some of the top paleontology researchers in the world conducted an intensive radiological scanning of Leonardo at NASA Johnson Space Center's Ellington Field facility. The data is currently being compiled and analyzed, and will be released at a later date.

"Meeting Leonardo is a very moving, intimate experience," said Dr. Robert T. Bakker, the famed paleontologist whose work inspired author Michael Crichton to write Jurassic Park.. Dr. Bakker was one of the first scientists to work on Leonardo, beginning in 2002. "Visitors will see every wrinkle and scale popping in the light, and then discover the internal organs of a creature that's been dead for millions of years. They will leave convinced that these animals were very much alive."

Discovered by members of an exploration team in the summer of 2000 during the Judith River Foundation's Expedition on a cattle ranch north of Malta, Montana, Leonardo was named after graffiti found on a nearby rock that read: "Leonard Webb loves Geneva Jordan 1916."


National funding for Dinosaur Mummy CSI: Cretaceous Science Investigation is provided by Carestream Health, ConAm, Eastman Kodak, Ford Motor Company, NDT Group, Randa Trucking and Sealed Air. Local funding is provided by Leonardo Project LLC and Richard Ditton

 
   
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