Dinosaur fossils were discovered in Missouri in 1942 and 2021

CJ Coombs

Correction: The story originally said the ceremony celebrating Dan Stewart was last year; it was October 2015. An edit includes that some of the Chronister family members were also present.

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Model of Hypsibema Missouriense that was displayed at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History.Source.

In 1942, a geologist, Dan Stewart, who was with the Missouri Geological Survey in Rolla, Missouri, was researching clay in what is essentially a village named Glen Allen (aka Glenallen) that's located in central Bollinger County in Southeast Missouri.

As the story goes, Stewart ran into a boy, Ole Chronister, who took him to see the clay on the property belonging to his family. Ole and his mother showed Stewart what they found while they were digging a well. The family referred to the findings as rocks and Stewart saw them to be dinosaur bones. While there, he found other bones.

Stewart took the bones and sent them to Washington D.C. The bones are now at the Smithsonian Institution. Interestingly, the bones were bought from the family for $50 and initially, misidentified in the scientific report. "Those bones ended up being the tail of Missouri's Dinosaur." (Source.)

The dinosaur turned out to be a buck billed creature called the Hypsibema Missouriense, and it was designated the official Missouri dinosaur in 2004. (Source.)

In October 2015, the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill, Missouri, along with the Department of Natural Resources' Missouri Geological Survey and Lost Word Studios recognized Stewart's contributions to geology and paleontology with a ceremony and presentation to his family. Some of the members of the Chronister family were also honored.

According to the site, Sciencing, there are nine locations where fossils have been located including Buffalo National River.

On August 28, 2005, Missouri Revised Statutes, Title 2, Chapter 10, Section 10.095 designated the Hypsibema missouriensis dinosaur as Missouri's state dinosaur.

On November 24, 2021, The New York Post article, Bones of new dinosaur species discovered in Missouri, revealed some interesting images above the caption, "A paleontologist has discovered the bones of a juvenile Parrosaurus Missouriensis in Missouri. It's being hailed as a 'world-famous find.'"

As reported by Smithsonian Magazine, December 2021, in its article entitled, Fossil Hotbed Uncovered in Missouri Confirms New Species of Duck-Billed Dinosaur: After years of excavating, the team found a tail, two arms and a skull belonging to a dino that would have been 35 feet long,

The new bones included the skeleton of a juvenile and adult dinosaur belonging to a species of duck-billed dinosaur called Parrosaurus missourenisis. The remains were unearthed by researchers from Chicago's Field Museum and the Saine Genevieve Museum Learning Center, reports the Independent's Gino Spocchia. (Source.)

On December 31, 2021, the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History permanently closed due to a lack of funding as well as visitors. According to the 2020 census, the population of Marble Hill is 1,388. Prior to the museum's closing, it was where ancient bones, shells, and eggs were put on for display when discovered by the paleontologists.

Thank you for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO
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