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Dinosaur Day

Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008, at 8:53 PM

This life-size replica of the Missouri Dinosaur was unveiled to the public at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History Friday, March 14. According to scientists, the duck-billed Hypsibema Missouriense was more maternal than most dinosaurs and stayed close to the nest until her eggs hatched. Bones of this dinosaur were discovered at GlenAllen in Bollinger County in 1942 and it was declared the Missouri State Dinosaur in 2004.
I never fail to be amazed by the hustle & bustle of activity in our neighbor city to the north - Marble Hill, that rustic town in the hills about 15 miles from Advance. Some friends and I went up to the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History Friday to see the unveiling of a dinosaur! Yes, you heard me right! It was an authentic 30-foot Hypsibema Missouriense - more commonly known as "the Missouri Dinosaur." From what I gather, the bones of this creature are the only ones ever found in the state.

I've always loved the study of dinosaurs; there's something grand and outlandish about animals so big! My son Todd may be a "big boy" of 34 now, but from the time he was four, he was fascinated with dinosaurs and knew all the names. He used to laugh with glee, as my mother tried to read his dinosaur books to him.

Anyway, this dinosaur, a duck-billed herbivore, roamed Southeast Missouri in the Late Cretaceous Period at least 65 million years ago. Bones from this creature were discovered in 1942 near Glenallen in Bollinger County. The site is still being excavated today, as I understand it, and is restricted at the present time, though Friday's speaker, State Rep. Rod Jetton, is hopeful that it will one day be a State Park.

Some impressive forces have come to play in the recreation of the dinosaur. The life-size model was a two-year project by Guy Darrough of Lost World Studios, based in Arnold, Mo. In 2004, Missouri House Rep. Rod Jetton presented a bill which declared the Hypsibema Missouriense the Missouri State Dinosaur. Eva Dunn, the director of both the museum and the Bollinger County Library, has written grants to help fund the project, as well as the renovation of the old Mayfield College building, a wonderful three-story brick structure which sits atop a hill of no small size...

This was my first visit to the museum, but it certainly won't be my last! The dinosaur exhibit is on the second floor of the beautiful old building, and other Smithsonian-quality exhibits are on the first floor - including Advance amateur archaelogist Paul Corbin's collection of Native American artifacts.

I think it is SO COOL that we have such a neat piece of history and science so close to us! Who would have thought???!

The museum is open on Thursday through Saturday, noon to 4:30.

Check out the website and watch a group of dinosaurs march across the top of the page: http://www.bcmnh.org/

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I understand that some enterprising Scots have set up a "Nessie Tour" around the edge of the loch. Can't you just see them hiring some kids with a big inflatible Sinclair dinosaur to boat out a ways into the lake at just the proper time of evening??


Let us know if you capture some pictures, FJ!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Mar 23, 2008, at 5:28 PM

GL, I'll be in Scotland later this year. Although it isn't planned, if I go to Loch Ness I hope I'm not looking the other way or cameraless if Nessie decides to make an appearance!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Mar 23, 2008, at 3:46 PM

I once considered taking a group of students to Scotland to traipse around Loch Ness, but I decided that there wouldn't really enough for a group of high school students to do in that remote part of Scotland.

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 9:25 PM

I checked out gars. Their eggs are poisonous, but once hatched they can be very tasty. They are known to grow to be 10' long. I don't think there is any proof one way or the other about Nessie. The few sightings can either be interpreted to mean that she is an old wives tale, or that she has developed the survival skill to keep a very low profile from human predators.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 4:26 PM

I think we had another discussion about gars in a previous blog. I think I asked if you could eat a gar, and I believe it was I.B. LeTruth who said you could.

Of course, we'll never know, as I.B. LeTruth has gone into seclusion and is hiding out somewhere in the remote hills of Crowley's Ridge...maybe eating deep-fried gar on the swollen bank of the Castor River...

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 3:12 PM

If you have ever seen a gar fish,you can surely believe in any dinosaur or nessie.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 4:24 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Oh, yes, I've seen a gar!! Horrible-looking fish with a mouth full of ragged teeth! My husband hated them! They do look like mini-dinosaurs!

MD and Swift, I recently saw a documentary where researchers have found evidence that Loch Ness was connected in the past with the North Sea. So it is possible that large prehistoric water creatures could have been trapped in Loch Ness, which is now about 50 feet above sea level. There is an immense amount of water in Loch Ness, which has more fresh water than all the lakes and rivers in England and Wales put together.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 1:59 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, I've seen information on that topic, and I think it makes a lot of sense. It's even possible that the creature in the Newsweek photo had somehow escaped from Loch Ness.

Of course, I've also heard that the whole Nessie tale was made up by a coupld of local Scots, who were just playing around.

Liked your response, MD. Hey, I really like your and Corbin's articles in the North Stoddard Countian. We've only lived in this county going on 12 yrs and it's good to read up on the history of this area.

-- Posted by swift on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 11:02 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Thanks, swift! There is quite a faction of local history buffs in the region, and it is SO MUCH FUN to get together and go on field trips. I especially like that we have color on the back page, so all those beautiful photos can really show up.

We didn't have room for the dinosaur article this week, so it'll run next week. There's another story coming up about Old Piketon, too. Shelby and Paul Spears and Tom Nall went along on that one. We have to get some information from Dr. McGinty's wife to finish it up.

Once the weather improves, we can do more. Paul Corbin is an absolute treasure! As we drive, he points out historically interesting places all along the way. There's so much out there!

FJGuy, that is a cool website! very interesting.

-- Posted by swift on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 10:58 AM

GL, The National Geographic website has many articles about dinosaur discoveries. One about a huge ostrich like dinosaur discovered last year in China is at, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...

Just enter "dinosaur" into the search box to see many other articles about recent dinosaur discoveries.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 6:16 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I'll check all these sites out when the rain stops and I can quit vacuuming water...

The neat thing about history is that it's ever-changing, as new discoveries are made.

The fishermen who caught that dead dinosaur threw it back in the ocean, because it stank so bad! Boy, did the scientists ream them out! (stink, stank, had/have stunk...Boy, I don't use that verb enough for it to sound right...)

MD and Goat lady, click on the website and then Advanced Search. Type in the word dinosaurs and hit search. There's some resources there to prove that dinosaurs lived during the time of Genesis.

Lochness monster may actually exist! LOL

-- Posted by swift on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 4:04 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Swift, I remember a photo in Newsweek a number of years ago (the 80's?): It was of a creature that some fishermen caught in their net. It was badly decomposed, but it looked very much like an elasmosaurus - or...there's another one that looks like an elasmosaurus but has a shorter neck... I can't remember its name anymore. Anyway, the creature looked just like the photos we see of "Nessie." There was speculation that it had perhaps been frozen in an iceberg all that time...

Goat lady, you have to check out the resources link on that site and then click on online store. Under Product Categories, click on Life Science. There are many Creation Science museums across the country. I'm a strong believer in the literal creation account as interpreted by ICR. Did you know that the mythical stories of dragons may actually be about dinosaurs? Anyway, I didn't mean to teach creation science on this- only to make the point that they didn't live 65 million years ago as evolutionists would have you believe.

-- Posted by swift on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 3:55 PM

MD, You may not need to use a shovel. Just keep your handy dandy camera within arms reach!

There have been credible reports of sightings of the advanceosaurus. This is the mysterious prehistoric creature that stealthily inhabits the area around Advance. Depending on the light and time of day the advanceosaurus has variously been described as having an appearance similar to a cougar or a yellow lab. No one has ever gotten close enough to see how many teeth it has, and no one knows if it is a carnivore or a plant eater. Nor do we know yet if it has scales or a thick hide like an alligator. Much remains to be discovered about the advanceosaurus. But with ace reporter MD on the case I'm sure the truth will eventually be discovered.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 12:55 PM

To all of you in the Advance, Marble Hill, Tillman area, I hope you all stay high and dry. Looks as though things are only going to get worse!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 12:20 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I'm high (on a hill), but I'm not dry. I'll have to stay up with a shop vac all night, if I want to keep my basement semi-dry...

However, as bad as Advance has it, Marble Hill is worse! I made a harrowing trip there today. Every hill had water pouring down off it, and the bridge between Lutesville and Marble Hill was under water. The water under the first bridge looked like a rapids.

Well, that's cool! Where can we look up some information on this creature?

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 9:46 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
If a dinosaur could bring as much attention to Advance as it has to Marble Hill, I'd get a shovel and start digging!

MD, There are likely more Missouri dinosaurs waiting to be discovered -- maybe in Advance!?. I just read about a previously unknown flying reptile/dinosaur recently discovered in Argentina. It lived 140 million years ago. Its wingspan was about that of a surfboard and it had 1,000 tiny teeth.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 9:14 PM

Mmmm...Is this a trivia question or a joke? I don't know the answer to either one, unfortunately!

I checked out that site. How do you get information on dinosaurs on the site? I didn't see anything to click on for that.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 4:25 PM

http://www.icr.org Sorry about the mess up there!

-- Posted by swift on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 3:13 PM

A study of dinosaurs based on a creation science perspective may be had by going to http//www.icr.org I recieve their monthly magazine. ICR has a lot of material on dinosaurs.

A bit of humor: What kind of dinosaur does Alley Oop ride?

-- Posted by swift on Mon, Mar 17, 2008, at 3:11 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Aren't those two concepts a contradiction? I thought "creation science" didn't support the belief in dinosaurs.

I'm interested in finding out what they're doing with the upstairs of the old Metro building in downtown Dexter. They've had that big old truck blocking the sidewalk for a couple of months now. I think it would be interesting if they refurbished those old upstairs apartments and rented them out like a motel, or to people interested in not having a yard to mow ;-) You never know what Dexter is going to do next with these buildings. They renovated the Metro building, then The Metro went out of business, and they haven't done anything w/ it since. Why redo if it's going to sit? That's harder on a building than it being used on a daily basis.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Mar 16, 2008, at 11:03 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Mrsdolphin, I'm trying to find your question about things to do in Memphis, but I can't -- so I'll put my answer here. I've heard from my daughter, and here's what she mentioned: National Civil Rights Museum; she hasn't been there, but everyone says it's amazing. Beale Street is fun for families during the daylight hours. During warm weather, jazz musicians will be out on the sidewalks and there are lots of neat shops that the kids will like. Slave Haven/Burkle House is a museum where visitors can explore slave tunnels. Mud Island River Park is a museum on an island in the Mississippi. The Peabody Hotel has the "Duck Walk" at intervals during the day, in which the ducks come down to the lobby on the elevator and walk through the crowd to swim in the fountain. There is a zoo, but she doesn't approve of zoos, so she has no comment on it.

She says to be VERY careful with your car and belongings EVERYWHERE you go - even if it seems safe - and keep a very close eye on the kids.

MD, Many of these small town museums are also in interesting buildings. For example, the museum in Newhall, CA, north of Los Angeles, is in the former home of the great silent film western star William S. Hart. A few weeks ago I toured a small town's museum that is in a nearly 100-year-old three-story farmhouse. I'm sure there are many such examples of interesting museum locations.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Mar 16, 2008, at 5:31 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I wish Advance HAD an interesting building for a museum... They're all gone...if they ever existed in the first place. We're barely holding on to a one-room library.

Towns with beautiful old buildings don't realize what treasures they have. Well, a few of them do...but so many of the old buildings are lost.

Wait till I report on the downtown renovation going on in Marble Hill! You won't believe it!

MD, I have found in traveling around that often times the best kept secret of a small town is the museum of local history. They always have interesting and unusual exhibits and information, and often display the artwork of local artists. The museum in Tillamook, Oregon, for example, has a replica of the first home of the first Caucasian known to have settled in the Oregon Territory (which at that time included Oregon, Washington, Idaho and part of what is now Canada). He lived inside of an extremely large tree that had been hollowed out by a lightning bolt!!

These small town museums are usually staffed by friendly people volunteering their time, and they are typically supported financially by contributions and not tax money.

For example, the marvelous museum in the small southern Oregon town of Jacksonville is in the old county courthouse, which was restored with the financial assistance of Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, who lived in the area.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Mar 16, 2008, at 4:29 PM

I can't imagine where this excavation site is - I've been to GlenAllen twice (cool old town), and (of course) I saw no evidence of any dinosaur dig!! I don't guess they care to broadcast its location, though...

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Mar 16, 2008, at 9:14 AM

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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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