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'Dinosaurs of California' topic of next MAPS public lecture

POSTED February 19, 2013 11:50 p.m.

 The Modesto Area Partners in Science will offer a presentation by Richard Hilton on “Dinosaurs of California” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Forum 110 at Modesto Junior College, 435 College Ave. in Modesto. 

 Professor Richard Hilton will discuss dinosaurs and other fossil Mesozoic reptiles found in California and the people involved in their science.  Bones, originally deposited in sediments between 210 and 65 million years ago, have been discovered in the rocks of the hills, mountains, and deserts of California and just to the south in Baja California.  While most of these fossil creatures lived in the sea (thalattosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and turtles), some soared above it (birds and the pterosaurs).  Others, like tortoises and dinosaurs, came from terrestrial habitats or died there and were washed into the sea.

 Perhaps just as interesting as these prehistoric creatures is the rich story of the work and adventure involved in the discovery, preparation, and publishing of the finds.  Here we find scientists, teachers, students, ranchers, weekend fossil hunters, and even a dog that found a fossil bone. This talk chronicles the first 100 years of fossil Mesozoic reptile discovery in California.

Hilton is Professor of Earth Sciences at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif. He is also author of “Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California,” University of California Press, 2003.

The talk by Hilton is free and open to the public.  Parking is open so feel free to park in any staff or student space on campus. For more information about the MAPS program, contact MJC’s Science, Mathematics and Engineering Division office at 575-6173.

 

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