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Meet Jason the triceratops

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BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge welcomed an authentic Triceratops skull to its collection this week. The fossil will be the only one of its kind on display in the state when public viewing begins on Saturday.

The skull was discovered on a private ranch in Montana at a site that is well-known for excellent fossil finds. It’s on loan from Raising Cane’s and the Graves family. The skull is a prime Triceratops fossil that weighs in at more than a ton.

“This skull is one of the largest discovered and was found intact in a Stone Nodule with minor distortion,” says Thomas Lindgren, who prepared the skull for display. An intact fossil of this kind gives clues to scientists about the physiological structure of dinosaurs.

The skull has been dubbed “Jason” after Jason Phipps, the Montana rancher who happened across the fossil while trailing his cattle to new pasture in Montana.

“My brother Jason Phipps found the Triceratops skull site in late July or early August of 2011.  Jason was riding his horse trailing his cattle to new pasture when he discovered the site.  As I walked up to the site I quickly realized there was most likely a fairly complete Triceratops skull just under the surface!  I could see a portion of the frill, and bit of all three horns! It was such an exciting discovery for the simple fact that after we had moved the dirt around the specimen, anyone could walk up to the site and see a dinosaur skull laying there. “

The fossil will remain at the Art & Science Museum on a two-year loan.

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