Sheridan Media's Chris Foy brings us this report about an Allosaurus skeleton that was unearthed in Johnson County which will soon find a new home at Sheridan College.
The story begins in 1993. Scratch that. It began nearly 150 million years ago during the Jurassic Period - a time when northeastern Wyoming resembled the delta region of Botswana and the Big Horn Mountains had not yet formed. It was even before Tyrannosaurus rex stalked the prehistoric landscapes. One day, a large carnivorous dinosaur called an Allosaurus died under circumstances that are nearly impossible to guarantee.
In 1993, then Sheridan College geology instructor Mike Flynn was excavating a quarry site 18 miles south of Buffalo. Flynn says he stumbled upon the ankle bones of a dinosaur he originally thought belonged to a Ceratosaurus. While using it as a teaching site for his students, a team discovered teeth and a jaw. Flynn says he then knew their true owner, an Allosaurus they've dubbed Caesar.
Since then, roughly 40 percent of a complete Allosaurus skeleton has been unearthed, studied and cataloged. Flynn says Wyoming is not only one of the best places in the country to dig for fossils - but across the globe.
At Wednesday nights presentation at Sheridan College by the two scientists who excavated the creature, both Flynn and colleague Bill Matteson said a full-size replica of Caesar is being prepared for display in the college's Edward A. Whitney Academic Center.
Bozeman, Montana-based creator of museum exhibit installations Michael Holland is currently working on piecing together a life-size replica of what Caesar would have looked like nearly 150 million years ago. Matteson explains.
The total cost of the replica is $150,000 and $50,000 of that has already been donated by First Federal Savings Bank. The replica soon to be featured in Sheridan College will be similar to the one on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum. But instead of more than 1,500 miles away, it will once again have a home right here in Wyoming.