Maryland’s New Dinosaur Park | Science | Smithsonian
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Maryland’s New Dinosaur Park

Documentaries often show scientists digging for dinosaurs in places like the Badlands of the American West or the hot sands of the Gobi Desert, but people in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area are a lot closer to a dinosaur bone-bed than they may know.This week the state of Maryland is establishing...

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A sculpture of an Acrocanthosaurus attacking a sauropod dinosaur at the Maryland Science Center. From Flickr user Jeff Kubina.


Documentaries often show scientists digging for dinosaurs in places like the Badlands of the American West or the hot sands of the Gobi Desert, but people in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area are a lot closer to a dinosaur bone-bed than they may know.

This week the state of Maryland is establishing a new park to preserve Cretaceous-age fossil deposits in Prince George's County. Dinosaur fossils have been coming out of the site for over a century and a half, but it is only now that the site is going to be formally protected. According to the Baltimore Sun, amateur and professional paleontologists will still be allowed to work the site, but whatever is removed will be carefully documented and offered to the Smithsonian Institution for study and storage.

While most visitors will not be allowed to take any dinosaurs home with them, organizers behind the park plan to launch public programs about the fossils in the park. These plans are still in development, however, as protecting this unique fossil site was the major goal of the project.
About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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