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Casper College Offers Visits To T-Rex Dig Site [AUDIO]

6.16 Lee Rex dig site, Tate T.Rex blog, Casper College
6.16 Lee Rex dig site, Tate T.Rex blog, Casper College

The Tate Geological Museum of Casper College is opening a dig site to visitors on Saturdays. Casper College Field Operations Specialist J.P. Cavigelli (caviCHELee) confirmed it was a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil last year.

Rare T Rex fossil named Lee Rex:

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“So at that point we needed to start making plans to get all the paperwork in order so that we would be able to go out this summer and dig on that fossil because we needed to have special permission for something that large, from the landowner, and do a special agreement with them.”

They began excavating in earnest June 12th, says Deanna Schaff (shof), director of museums. And they won’t know how complete the fossil T-Rex is, whether they have the 40-some pieces to the skull, for example, for some time to come because a lot of it could be in a large mass of rock, said Schaff.

Most of it prepared at Casper College:

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“A major part of it is in that huge concretion and it’s 18-foot by 8-and-a-half-foot wide, and we will be transporting that back to Casper, in one piece, we hope. It’s liable to take us two or three years; it’s going to take a while because it is in such hard rock.”

Would-be visitors will need to be at the Lady Bird Rest Area on US-18/US-20 just west of Lusk slightly before 10 am. Someone from the dig will escort visitors to the site. Carpooling is recommended and the last quarter mile is rough terrain.

Ms. Schaff emphasized the site is on private land so visitors should observe certain courtesies.

Protocol for visits to the site:

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“Definitely do not wander around the ranch any place other than that site. It’s private land. Don’t bring any pets, no firearms, fireworks, no open flames. One of the big things is if you are a smoker, do not throw any of your cigarette butts on the ground; make sure you extinguish them and take them back with you. Again, this is private land; we’re trying to keep it clean out there. And they definitely cannot pick up any fossils or anything while they’re out there.”

Schaff recommends bringing a lunch and plenty of water. The site will be open to visitors every Saturday until about mid-July. For more information call the Tate Geological Museum at 268-2447 or visit the dig’s website at www.tatetrex.com.

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