Category Archives: Paleontology

2018 Heritage Awards

It is with great pleasure that the Museums of Western Colorado recognizes outstanding individuals and groups for their contributions toward preserving our community’s heritage at the Sixth Annual Heritage Awards, hosted at the Museum of the West. We are pleased to announce winners in the following categories: Archeological Award Glade V. Hadden George Callison Paleontological Award Dr. Rodney Scheetz Historian Award Dr. Steve Schulte Steve and Denise Hight Preservation Award Leslie “Bill” Ellicott Heritage Enterprise … Read More

Museum and BLM Partnership

Since 2014, the Museums of Western Colorado and the Bureau of Land Management have been working on developing a joint website to showcase digital exhibitions and to share information about collections with the public. The BLM grant funding the project provided resources to build a professional website and a children’s website, offer a series of educational camps for children, and design an educational kit to be used by the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center. The … Read More

Museums of Western Colorado to Host Guest Lecture on 200-Million-Year-Old Utah Dinosaur Fossil 

Join the Museums of Western Colorado’s guest lecturer Rob Gay, Director of Education for the Colorado Canyons Association (CCA), as he presents new findings on a fossil identified as the oldest dinosaur bone found in the State of Utah. This guest lecture will be held at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita on March 9 at 7 pm, free of charge, and will highlight the results of an article published in the Utah Geological Association’s journal Geology of the Intermountain West that identifies this fossil from the Late Triassic Period (220-200 million years ago).   The collaborative efforts of three paleontologists – Xavier Jenkins with Arizona State University’s … Read More

Theft of the Don-Mobile at Dinosaur Journey

On Saturday, February 3, a 1993 Dodge Dakota truck was stolen from the Museums of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey, a truck that was a key tool in the museum’s mission and efforts to discover and excavate fossils from paleontological sites such as the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in Rabbit Valley near the Utah border. This truck played a significant role in transporting water, equipment and tools to the dig sites, which are often in remote areas, and … Read More

2018 Digs Preview

Dinosaurs of the Western Slope: A Four-Day Paleo Expedition Summer 2017 is over, but at the Museums of Western Colorado we already are planning the 2018 ‘dig’ season. One of the new experiences to be offered in 2018 is a longer expedition, designed for the most avid dinosaur lover! Those for whom one day out at the quarry or in the lab simply is not enough will spend four days fully immersed in paleontology of … Read More

Museums of Western Colorado Volunteer Kay Fredette Honored as Colorado’s Outstanding Tourism Volunteer of the Year

As a retired dental hygienist, she used to clean people’s teeth. Now, as a 78-year-young superstar volunteer at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita, she cleans dinosaur teeth, bones, and other fossil specimens. For her 31 years of volunteer work with the Museums of Western Colorado, Kay Fredette was honored in October at the annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference with the 2017 Jack Snow Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. “I cannot imagine anyone more worthy … Read More

Opening a Quarry

At the end of spring, on the eve of summer, each year the Museums of Western Colorado prepares to open the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in Rabbit Valley for dig season. It’s not as easy as just unlocking a gate and digging with a shovel… We first have to remove the excess dirt and rock we put over the quarry every fall. We do this to protect the site from fossil poaching, vandalism, and to keep winter … Read More

Summer Exhibit at Dinosaur Journey Museum

This summer, Dinosaur Journey in Fruita will host the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, “Titanoboa: Monster Snake.” Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the world’s largest snake is sure to send chills down any visitor’s spine. Sixty million years ago, in the era after the mass extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs, scientists believe that a colossal snake related to modern boa constrictors thrived in a hot tropical … Read More

Loss of a Friend…

We are sad to report the loss of a dear friend of the Museums of Western Colorado, Peter Mygatt. Pete died in his home in Boise, ID on Feb. 23. He was 90 years old. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, journalist, photographer, miner, forest firefighter, car enthusiast and amateur paleontologist, Pete loved exploration and the road less-travelled. In 1981, while hiking with his wife, Marilyn, and friends J.D. and Vanetta Moore, they discovered … Read More