Big discoveries come in small packages

Object of the Month: 07/2007

What is it?:

Microfossils: Dinosaur teeth (Albertosaurus sp.), Fish scales (Lepisosteus sp.), Turtle shell (Aspideretes sp.), Vertebrae (back bones) (Champsosaurus sp.)


Origin:

Central Montana


Age: 75 million years
Where was it collected:

Central Montana


Accession #: P2003.1.2, P2003.4.9, P2003.2.1, P2003.3.4

Microfossils
Microfossils

These tiny fossils represent a few of the animals that lived in Montana some 75 million years ago. Collected by Science Museum Curator of Paleontology Kristi Curry Rogers, her husband Ray Rogers (a geologist at Macalaster College), and their undergrad students, they preserve bits and pieces of animals that lived in North America near the end of the age of dinosaurs.

We often think of fossils as giant skeletons. But those are very rare. Small microfossils are much more common. And despite their miniature size, they contain a wealth of information. Just one tooth or a couple of bones is all a researcher needs to demonstrate that a particular animal was living in a region. These partial remains give us a fuller picture of the ancient environment.