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University of Iowa News Release


March 31, 2008

Museum of Natural History presents 'Fossil Guy' programs in April

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns in April with educational programs at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoons at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. At each program, Johnson, a local amateur paleontologist and UI staff member, will give a 20-minute talk, followed by a close-up, hands-on, question-and-answer session using Johnson's collection of ancient fossils and artifacts. His presentations are geared toward elementary-age school children, but dinosaur lovers of all ages are invited to attend. All events are free and open to the public.

The series and subjects are as follows:

--April 12: "When Tyrannosaurs Roamed Montana." Johnson will compare and contrast the various types of tyrannosaurs. A full-sized replica of the "Peck's Rex" Tyrannosaurus rex skull will be in display, and visitors will be able to touch real T. rex fossils as Johnson shares his experience searching for tyrannosaurus fossils in the western United States.

--April 19: "Duck-billed Dinosaurs: Pretty Faces of the Cretaceous." Visitors can learn about Don's favorite group of dinosaurs -- the duckbills -- and see some of the fossil bones of "Laura, the Juvenile Duck-billed Dinosaur." He'll tell about the duckbills, including how they used crests on their heads, what defenses they had against predatory dinosaurs, and how they raised their young.

--April 26: "Raptor Dinosaurs: Feathered Killers!" In this session, visitors will learn about the recent discoveries of fossil dinosaurs with feather impressions in China, including feathered raptor dinosaurs. Johnson will also explore the close relationship between these dinosaurs and modern birds. Fossils found with the raptor dinosaurs can be examined to get a complete picture of the world in which they lived over 65 million years ago.

For more information on the "Fossil Guy" and other Museum of Natural History programs, call 319-335-0606.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

CONTACT: Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606; George McCrory, 319-384-0012,