'The Beast': Field Museum gets new dinosaur fossil found in Missouri

The remains of a 35-foot long, duck-billed dinosaur, called Parrosaurus Missouriensis, were found in Missouri in 2017

ByStephanie Wade, ABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Saturday, September 17, 2022
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Scientists found the remains of a 35-foot long, duck-billed dino called Parrosaurus Missouriensis in Missouri back in 2017.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- No bones about it! It's a big day here at the Field Museum as a new dinosaur fossil from Missouri arrives in Chicago

The Field Museum is bringing home a new dinosaur fossil.

Scientists found the remains of a 35-foot long, duck-billed dinosaur, called Parrosaurus Missouriensis, in Missouri in 2017.

"We were blown away, in short," said Connie Vanbeek, a Field Museum fossil preparator.

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Since then, they've been slowly excavating the skeleton and bringing parts of it to Chicago to be studied.

It is estimated to be more than 75 million years old and is said to be a rare find for the Midwest.

"We start with the bones and we sort of build out from there to understanding the significance of this site in a more global context," said Pete Makovicky, a Field Museum associate researcher.

Friday, the largest piece of the dinosaur -- a 2,500 pound block of fossils, nicknamed "The Beast" -- made its way to the Field Museum for further research.

"It's the biggest thing I've ever collected," Makovicky added.

It arrived in its plaster field jacket and was immediately brought to the Collections Resource Center where researchers will now begin the work of freeing the bones from the surrounding rock and prepare it to be studied.

"Just adding to the general knowledge that we have of the diversity of dinosaurs overtime is going to be a big deal. And then I think this dinosaur is special for the Field and for Chicago, because it was found relatively close to where we are. The site is only about 350 miles away, which is not super close, but it's a lot closer than other dinosaur localities. So if you want an idea of what kinds of dinosaurs lived in Chicagoland area in the Cretaceous, this is our best window on that," Makovicky said.

Officials say it will take months to remove the dinosaur from the plaster jackets, but once they do, scientists here are certainly excited to study it and hopefully eventually put it on display for Chicagoans to see and enjoy.