Children’s Museum set for $27.5 million ‘Mission Jurassic’ project

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has a $27.5 million Jurassic mission.

The museum is partnering with The Natural History Museum (London, UK), the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, Netherlands) and the University of Manchester (Manchester, UK) for a paleontological excavation of a fossil-rich stretch of northern Wyoming.

The project, called Mission Jurassic, hopes to learn more about the Jurassic Period than ever before. More than 100 scientists from three countries will work on it.

The museum said two scientists-in-residence, Professor Phil Manning and Dr. Victoria Egerton of the University of Manchester, will lead Mission Jurassic. The project is possible thanks to a lead grant of $9 million from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

The mile-square plot in Wyoming is being called the “Jurassic Mile.” It has four main quarries with dinosaur bones and remnants of other animals, marine life and plants. Over the last two years, paleontologists have collected nearly 600 specimens—and only a fraction of the site has been explored. The discoveries include the bones of a Brachiosaur and a Diplodocid.

Specimens from the site will form the basis for a major expansion of the Children’s Museum’s Dinosphere exhibit, which will add creatures from the Jurassic Period. Fossils will also be shared with the National History Museum of London and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands for possible display and/or traveling exhibitions.

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