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University of Iowa News Release


March 30, 2010

PHOTO: "Fossil Guy" Don Johnson (right) talks with attendees at a program at the UI Museum of Natural History.

'Fossil Guy' returns to the UI Museum of Natural History

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns in April with educational programs at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoons at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. All "Fossil Guy" programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium.

Each program consists of a 20-minute talk by Johnson, a local amateur paleontologist, followed by a close-up, hands-on, question-and-answer session using his collection of fossils and artifacts. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age schoolchildren.

The series and subjects are as follows:

--Saturday, April 3: "Beast Foot! Predatory Dinosaurs Large and Small"

Learn about the variety of meat-eating dinosaurs, the foods they preferred, and when and where they lived. Visitors will also learn what caused some meat-eating dinosaurs to become some of the largest predators to walk the earth while others remained as small as chickens. Attendees will have the opportunity to see and touch a replica Allosaurus skull, replica Tyrannosaurus rex jaws, and raptor dinosaur models.

--Saturday, April 10: "Exposing Ancient Anatomy: A Look Inside Prehistoric Beasts"

Discover what can be interpreted about the anatomy of extinct creatures from fossil evidence, including bones, footprints, eggs, skin impressions, coprolites and stomach stones. Visitors will see detailed models of Velociraptor, Triceratops, the 3-toed horse Mesohippus, and the giant extinct shark Megalodon. The models depict possible reconstructions of their skeletons, muscles and internal organs.

--Saturday, April 17: "The World of Laura, the Duck-billed Dinosaur"

Learn about Don's favorite group of dinosaurs: the duckbills. Fossil bones of Laura, the young Hypacrosaurus dinosaur, will be available for viewing. Participants can also see and touch real fossil bones, teeth, claws and eggs from a number of different duck-billed dinosaurs, including Edmontosaurus and Maiasaura. Don will also explain what purpose their elaborate head crests might have served, and how they defended themselves against predatory dinosaurs.

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

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606,; Steve Parrott, University Relations 319-384-0037,; Writer: Holly Berg