Rare dinosaur skull discovered by Missouri educator and students


ST. LOUIS – With with help of his students, a local educator speaks with pride about discovering the dome of a rare dinosaur skull earlier this year.

Ron Giesler and a group of young aspiring paleontologists from Adventure 360 uncovered the rare specimen while exploring the badlands of Montana. 

“It’s great when students can get real field experience,” said Ron Giesler, the program director for Adventure 360.

The fossil described as palm-sized is from a pachycephalosaur; one of the smallest dinosaurs with a thickened skull that often has small horns.

“There was only 21 specimen found of the rare Spaerotholus Buchholtzae (dome-shaped pachycephalosaurs skull), and we found the 22nd,” said Giesler.

Giesler said it was a warm, sunny day in late July when he saw a bone protruding from the ground.

“It was barely sticking out, it was not big at all, but I could tell it was something different,” said Giesler.

Giesler says the specimen was so rare that paleontologists from the University of Toronto have included the group’s findings in a recent research paper.

“We are excited! A lot of stuff we find we use for education and school groups, but when we find something that is unique that can help professional paleontologists and researchers, it is a really good feeling.”

According to experts, the significant find is actually one of the largest dome-shaped pachycephalosaurs skulls found.

Giesler says the specimen will ultimately be at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum for further research or exhibition.

He encourages the public to contact educators like himself if they ever come across fossils, bones, and other skeletons in the area.

To learn more about Adventure 360; a nonprofit organization that promotes unique and authentic learning experiences for adults, families, students and educators click here.

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