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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 17, 2008

'Fossil Guy' explores the Age of Dinosaurs at the UI Museum of Natural History

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns in November with educational programs at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoons at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. All events are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. 

At each program, Johnson, a local amateur paleontologist and UI staff member, will give a 20-minute talk, followed by a hands-on, question-and-answer session using his collection of ancient fossils and artifacts. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age schoolchildren, but dinosaur lovers of all ages are invited to attend.

The series and subjects are as follows:

-- 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1: "Sharp Teeth and Claws in the Age of Dinosaurs." Johnson will introduce visitors to many meat-eating dinosaurs. Examining the fossil evidence, visitors will learn about dinosaur hunting behavior, physical adaptations, and habitat. They will also meet some of the other creatures with sharp teeth and claws that lived during the Age of Dinosaurs.

-- 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8: "Veggiesauruses Large and Small." For this program, it's all about the plant-eaters. Visitors will learn how various physical adaptations-a duck bill, horn, or spike-aided dinosaurs in chewing their food, defending against predators, and other activities. They can also see some fossil bones of a plant-eating dinosaur, "Laura, the Juvenile Duck-billed Dinosaur." (More information at

-- 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15: "Under the Feet of T. rex." Johnson will explore life of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex in depth, answering questions about intelligence, eating habits, and physical characteristics. Visitors will be able to see and touch a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull and replicas of the animal's wishbone and brain, and then examine real T. rex fossils-teeth, a claw and a tailbone. Finally, Johnson will share his experiences hunting for dinosaur fossils in South Dakota and Montana.

For more information on the "Fossil Guy" and other Museum of Natural History programs, visit or call 319-335-0606.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Maggie Anderson.