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News about the first displayed skull of Cryolophosaurus.

Below article from The Cleveland Dispatch reprinted for fair use purposes only -- various copyrights acknowledged.

This Megalania page has been visited times since April 16, 1998.

The Colombus Dispatch
Copyright 1998 The Colombus Dispatch

April 15, 1998 Wednesday

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 4B

'ELVIS' DINOSAUR ENTERS THE BUILDING; COSI FIRST TO DISPLAY SKULL OF CRESTED CRYOLOPHOSAUR

BYLINE: David Lore , Dispatch Science Reporter

After 200 million years in cold storage and 7 1/2 more in reconstructive surgery, Cryolophosaurus ellioti crept headfirst into public view yesterday.

During a coming-out party at Ohio's Center of Science and Industry, the massive skull of the cryolophosaur was exhibited for the first time since scientists found it in Antarctica in December 1990.

The skull - topped by a bony crest that earned the beast the nickname ''Elvis'' - is part of the most complete dinosaur skeleton ever found on the ice continent.

The dinosaur was named for Ohio State University geologist David Elliot, who found the bones on Mount Kirkpatrick some 400 miles from the South Pole.

He described it yesterday as a lucky accident.

While studying rock formations, Elliot came across what appeared to be a huge shoulder blade projecting from the stone at about 12,000 feet.

Paleontologist William Hammer, flown to the mountain to analyze the find, identified the protrusion as the leg bone of an early Jurassic dinosaur, an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex.

At 22 feet long, Cryolophosaurus was no T-rex but was nevertheless the biggest and baddest carnivore of its day, said Hammer, a professor at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.

At that time, Antarctica was more tropical and part of the supercontinent Gondwanaland.

The arrangement of bones at the site indicates this particular cryolophosaur may have died eating its last meal.

The predator apparently either killed or came upon the body of a large plant-eating dinosaur, dragged part of it off to eat and then choked to death as it gulped down the meat.

Teeth and teeth marks also indicate that the remains of the larger animals were chewed on later by smaller, scavenger dinosaurs. Also nearby were bones identified as coming from a pterosaur, an early flying reptile.

Hammer's joke that the skull's bony crest looked like Elvis Presley's pompadour haircut gave the dinosaur its nickname.

''That's something I've been trying to live down for a long time,'' he admitted to museum visitors yesterday.

Elliot and Hammer said they haven't been able to get National Science Foundation backing to return to Mount Kirkpatrick.

Helicopters are needed to reach the mountain. The scientists hope to justify the cost of a return expedition by combining any future dinosaur hunt there with other scientific projects.

Bones recovered so far constitute about 40 percent of the skeleton of the crested dinosaur, Hammer said.

Casts of the dinosaur are being made by a Toronto company for museum exhibitions.

The skull was shown here yesterday during COSI's current exhibit, The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park: The Lost World. It will not, however, be a permanent part of the exhibit, which continues through May 10.

COSI in recent years has more frequently brought in scientists for specific demonstrations, said COSI exhibitions manager Chuck O'Connor.

The new riverfront COSI is being designed to involve more such experts, he said.

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