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University of Iowa News Release

March 10, 2004

'The Fossil Guy' Returns To Museum Of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will host afternoon programs by local amateur paleontologist Donald F. Johnson -- aka "The Fossil Guy" - on six Saturday afternoons beginning Saturday, March 13. The programs will take place at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Participants should meet in the lobby of the Iowa Hall gallery in Macbride Hall on the UI campus.

The popular programs will begin with a 20-minute talk, followed by a close-up, hands-on, question-and-answer session using Johnson's collection of ancient fossils and artifacts.

The March 13 program will focus on raptor dinosaurs, ranging in size from the small velociraptor to the giant megaraptor. Particular attention will be given to their weapon, "the killing claw."

Other scheduled programs are:

March 20, (New) "Ancient Flyers: Pterosaurs, ancient bats, and archaeopteryx" will feature cast replicas of fossils from the Solnhofen Limestone Formation, including the smallest dinosaur to show the bird-dino connection. Also included are extinct bats and birds.

March 27, "Experience the Bite! The story of Peck's Rex" will offer a free piece of dinosaur bone fossil for each child while supplies last. Visitors will learn about the most famous dino of all, Tyrannosaurus rex, through a cast of a complete set of jaws from Peck's Rex, unearthed in Montana in 1997 and one of the largest T. rex specimens ever recovered. Also featured will be real T. rex teeth and other bones, and other models and casts.

April 3, "Ice Age! Predators and Prey form the Pleistocene Age" The lives of two of the greatest mammal predators of all time: the saber tooth cat, Smilodon and the Dire wolf will be explored in detail! Also includes a variety of other evidence of ancient mammals that lived during that time.

April 10, (New) "The Leg Bone's Connected to the Hip Bone! Skeletons!" will focus on what can be learned by studying bones and skeletal structure.

April 17, (New) "The REAL Thing: Only REAL fossils of dinos, mammals, sea creatures and more!" will present real dinosaur bones, teeth and claws, as well as assorted bones and skulls of ancient mammals and microfossils collected by ants. Trilobites, giant shark fossils and other sea creature remains will also be shown.

The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call Elizabeth Burdick-Romero, UI Museum of Natural History weekend manager, or David Brenzel, program coordinator, at 319-335-0482 or 319-335-0480. Visit the Museum Website at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation in order to participate should contact the Museum of Natural History.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,