"Lori" Takes Up Residency at Wyoming Dinosaur Center | Big Horn Basin Media

“Lori” Takes Up Residency at Wyoming Dinosaur Center

Written by on July 12, 2019

The skeleton of a nearly 3-foot-tall cousin of the velociraptor will go on display at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.

Scientifically named Hesperornithoides miessleri (Heś-per-orn-ih-THOID-ees MEESE-ler-eye)—but informally known as “Lori”—this new dinosaur is the smallest dinosaur found so far in Wyoming. The new exhibit will open today, and will display the actual fossil bones along with a full-size reproduction of Lori’s skeleton.

Paleontologists discovered Lori in the summer of 2001, in the Morrison Formation near Douglas, Wyoming, slightly above the excavation site of “Jimbo,” the WDC’s well- known Supersaurus specimen, which is the largest, most complete dinosaur found so far in Wyoming. The Morrison dates to the late Jurassic period, approximately 155 to 140 million years ago.

Lori is considered a troodontid (tro-oh-DONT-id), a group of meat-eating dinosaurs known to possess sickle-like killing claws and to have potential for above-average intelligence. They are closely related to the well-known velociraptors, famous for their chilling appearance in the movie Jurassic Park. Lori is a pocket-sized version of its infamous cousins, complete with the killing claw on each foot.

The Lori and Jimbo specimens were found on property owned by the Miessler (MEESÉ–ler) family of Douglas, who donated both to the non-profit Big Horn Basin Foundation. In 2016, the Foundation merged with the newly organized and now nonprofit Wyoming Dinosaur Center, bringing both specimens under the WDC banner.

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