Burpee Museum of Natural History Finds Another Rare Dinosaur

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Burpee Museum says more elements of "Pearl," Burpee's rare "Parrot on Steroids,” a toothless, beaked, meat eating dinosaur, were found after continuing paleontological field programs this past summer in Montana.

“Pearl” was found in 2013 and, based on skeletal structure, was identified as a caenagnathid oviraptorosaur (kay-nig-NAY-thid OH-vi-rap-tor-sohr). During excavations, Burpee crews found toe, foot, ankle, lower leg, hip bones, and vertebrae. Prior to “Pearl’s” discovery the only North American specimen was on display at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, researchers from Carnegie and the Smithsonian Museum published a paper describing the Carnegie specimen, and named it Anzu wyliei (AHN-zoo WHY-lee-eye). Bones found by Burpee crews in 2013 and 2014 were enough to identify “Pearl” as another specimen of Anzu. Dr. Hans-Dieter Sues, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History states:

“Burpee Museum’s “Pearl” promises to provide much important new information on Anzu, one of the strangest dinosaurs from the close of the “Age of Dinosaurs.”

During the 2014 field season, dozens more of “Pearl’s” bones were found. Among those fossils were more toes bones, metatarsals (foot bones), a complete fibula (outer lower leg bone), more hip bones, more vertebrae and even some skull material. Dr. Thomas Holtz, noted expert on meat-eating dinosaurs, says:

“Pearl’s species, Anzu wyliei, is one of the least understood of the dinosaurs from the end of the Cretaceous. With this specimen we can “fill in the blanks” of its anatomy, as there are already some bones in this specimen not yet found in other Anzu. And we still don’t know how much more of “Pearl” there is. And who knows what else lies beyond where “Pearl” is buried? The only way to find out is to keep digging.”

“Pearl" is currently housed in Burpee Museum’s collections and will be prepared and mounted by Burpee staff. Once prepared, “Pearl” will be about 7 feet tall and 12 feet long. Burpee’s Director of Science & Exhibits, Scott Williams, says:

“Burpee Museum has a world class paleontological program with a proven track record for finding rare and important fossil.!” “Pearl is Jane level RARE!”

Like “Jane” and “Homer,” “Pearl” was found on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Feathered “Pearl” reconstruction courtesy of Julius Csotonyi
Yellow feathered “Pearl” reconstruction courtesy of Julius Csotonyi
Skeletal Drawing showing completeness: Courtesy of Scott Hartman

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