30-Foot Dinosaur Discovered in Missouri

Otis Adams

A new breed of hadrosaur, commonly called duckbilled dinosaurs, has been discovered in Missouri. This is particularly interesting to dinosaur enthusiasts because hadrosaurs tend to be discovered in eastern Asia and western North America.

The largest hadrosaur yet discovered were the three-ton Edmontosaurus who roamed along western North America between Alaska and Colorado.

These dinosaurs were given the nickname "duckbilled" due to the shape of the bones, though experts believe that once muscle, skin, and other tissue was added the shape of their heads resembled horses more than ducks.

The story of the newest addition to this family, found in Missouri, begins in the 1940's.

The property upon which the bones of the newly discovered Parrosaurus Missouriensis is the same place dinosaur bones were found over seventy years ago. This was also Missouri's first contribution to the world's collection of dinosaur bones.

Those bones were sent to the Smithsonian back in the 1940's and the family was given $50, which they used to buy a cow. Dr. Charles Gilmore examined them at the Smithsonian for about a year before his death. Little came of it until the 1970's when a student at Rolla used Gilmore's research to search a bit more. He found dinosaur teeth hidden below the surface.

The area was apparently a popular stomping ground for ancient dinosaurs as giant turtles and even Tyrannosaurus Rex bones have been found there.

I can't imagine anything that's more impressive than what we discovered here. A new genus in species. It's a world-famous discovery. (Paleontologist Guy Darrough)

The digging crew, led by paleontologist Guy Darrough, first discovered a juvenile skeleton before later unearthing an enormous adult Parrosaurus Missouriensis. The 25-30-foot long adult skeleton is the only one of its type to be found, adding a new variety of dinosaur to science books and kids' coloring books.

The site of the dig, which is being kept secret until it can be secured, is thought to be the most promising site for dinosaur bones east of the Great Plains and they are hopeful that even more skeletons will be uncovered.

USA Today is describing the secret dig site as a potential "dinosaur hotbed". Darrough described the recent find as being like "hitting King Tut's tomb". It sounds likely that many more dinosaur stories from Missouri will be hitting the news in the years to come.

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. New Twitter @OtisAdamsWrites. Otis Adams is an award-winning writer with three books under his belt and two dozen awards boxed up in his closet for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on Medium.com and can be contacted at pithbooks@gmail.com.

Columbia, MO
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