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missouri dinosaur
The dinosaur remains of Parrosaurus missouriensis took a total of four years to excavate from an undisclosed area in Southern Missouri. Courtesy of Peter Makovicky

Bones of Missouri state dinosaur discovered in southeastern part of state

A skeleton of the Missouri state dinosaur, the Parrosaurus missouriensis, has been found in Southeast Missouri. Guy Darrough, who discovered the bones, said the skeleton of this particular type of dinosaur has not been found anywhere else in the country.

“About a month ago, we pulled out the main body of it, which was like almost the size of a Volkswagen,” he told Missourinet. “We had to use a big piece of equipment to lift it out.”

missouri dinosaurThe duckbilled dinosaur is estimated to have had about 1,000 teeth, weighed three to four tons and was about 30 to 35 feet tall.

“If I never find another fossil that’s new, I am totally happy,” Darrough said. “Of course, we’re looking for some kind of a giant meat eater. But like I always say, it’s like finding King Tut’s treasure in Missouri. I can’t imagine anything bigger for the state of Missouri than finding new genus of species of dinosaur.”

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Darrough has been digging for artifacts most of his life. He has found other prehistoric artifacts in the same area of southeast Missouri, including the bones of a relative of a T-Rex and giant crocodiles, fish teeth and a tooth of a smaller dinosaur.

“As far as dinosaurs go, really making new discoveries, southeastern Missouri, our dinosaur site is the best thing you could ever do; I mean for someone that’s looking for something new this is the place,” he said..

Darrough, who is curator of the St. Genevieve Museum Learning Center, builds giant dinosaurs for a living and places them in botanical gardens across the country.

“Kids nowadays have no idea that they can go out in Missouri — they don’t go to go to Australia or Madagascar to make a new discovery,” he said. “They can actually in Missouri find animals that are new to science. It’s just they’re not alerted to that. The teachers don’t even know it. So that’s why the learning center is important, to put the stuff in their hands, do programs with them.”

The skeleton eventually will be on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. A 3D version of the dinosaur will be showcased at the St. Genevieve Museum Learning Center.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice