University Letter

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UND to host ‘Dinosaur Talk’ by paleontologist John Scannella on Feb. 16

UND’s Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering will host a presentation by one of Montana’s leading dinosaur paleontologists at 12:20 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, at UND’s Leonard Hall, Room 100.

All are invited to attend Triceratops and MOR: Exploring the End of the Age of Dinosaurs in Montana,” presented by John Scannella, John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) at Montana State University.

Long before bison, giant horned Triceratops roamed western North America with other dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. Triceratops lived alongside the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex and the dome-headed Pachycephalosaurus. This ecosystem is preserved in exposures of the Hell Creek Formation, the rock unit that captures the end of the age of dinosaurs in Montana, North Dakota and the surrounding region.

As part of the School’s long-running Leading Edge of Earth & Planetary Sciences (LEEPS) lecture series, Scannella will present on the intensive paleontological fieldwork in the Hell Creek Formation that’s still leading to discoveries on how these incredible animals lived, grew and evolved.

For nearly 20 years, Scannella has studied Triceratops and what its world was like at the end of the Cretaceous Period. As the John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology at MOR in Bozeman, Mont., since 2017, Scannella conducts extensive fieldwork throughout the state.

Current research projects include exploring prehistoric ecosystems, examining modes of fossil preservation, and deciphering the growth and evolution of dinosaurs. More information is available on the MOR website.