Cretaceous period dinosaur comes to Indianapolis

November 17, 2013 by  

Leonardo the dinosaur, or at least his tail, is coming to Indianapolis, where he will be on display at the Children’s Museum.

Leonardo is 77 million years old, and widely considered to be the best preserved dinosaur in the world, because he was mummified.

Leonardo is a hadrosaur discovered in Montana in 2001. He currently resides in Malta at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum, which is loaning him to Indianapolis for a period of ten years. At the moment, only his tail is on display, but the rest of his body will arrive in about four months.

A duck-billed dinosaur of 23 feet in length, Leonardo is to be placed in the Dinosphere at the museum, which is an exhibit created to mimic the conditions of the Cretaceous Period that existed 65m years ago. Visitors can talk to working paleontologists, see 14 full-size skeletons of dinosaurs; and take part in a dinosaur dig.

Leonardo is thought to have been approximately four years of age when he died. He apparently fell into water and was covered with sand, both of which helped preserve him. Approximately 90% of his body still had its soft tissue remaining, though fossilized, when he was discovered.

Museum officials could consider working with brochure printers to create a hand-out for distribution at the exhibit that explains who Leonardo was, why he is so well-preserved, and what his life was like. They could also work with a flyer printing company to create items for distribution near the museum.