Game Day: Moving a 6-ton fossil

Last week a colleague commented in her post on this blog that she’s ridiculously excited about the debut of Leonardo. The entire Houston Museum of Natural Science team echoes her sentiments.

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks since Ike’s wrath came upon our city. The museum was closed to the public for about five days due to the storm’s aftermath.  We were left without power; therefore, the opening date of Dinosaur Mummy CSI: Cretaceous Science Investigation was delayed until Sept. 26 (originally scheduled to open Sept.19).

Now we’re up and running and it’s only 23 hrs. and about 10 minutes until visitors are able to see Leonardo on display. It took a lot to get him here—a special palette; a very heavy fork lift; an air cushioned tractor trailer; a crane; along with our very own dynamic paleontology staff and outstanding support from supreme moving specialists. As Dr. Bakker says, “Moving a fossil is like moving a piece of art.”

In this video, we thought we would give you a rare peek of what David Temple calls “Game Day,”— moving Leonardo, a 77 million-year-old adult duckbilled dinosaur, from our off-site facility to the museum.

Check out the other videos in this series:
The mummified dinosaur Leonardo: too good to be true?
Mapping a dinosaur with Dr. Robert Bakker.
First in a paleontologist’s toolkit: glue.
Or, check out our channel on YouTube for even more video.
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4 thoughts on “Game Day: Moving a 6-ton fossil

  1. Wish I could have been there when they moved the mummy and wish I could visit the exhibition…
    Maybe next year. =)

    How’s Peanut going? Already finished/nearly finished?
    And is he going to be in the exhibition too?

    Give my regards to my uncle Dirk, curator of anthropology.



  2. Hi Astrid,

    I sent links to your comments to Dirk – I am sure he’ll be enjoy seeing that you are reading.

    Peanut has been prepared and placed on display in the Dinosaur Mummy CSI exhibit, opening tomorrow (9/26). It’s amazing to see the difference between the fossil in the ground, then in the plaster jacket, and finally on display. It’s quite a transformation.

    Thanks for you comment! I hope you enjoy reading the blog.

  3. They made it seem like moving a 6 ton fossil was pretty easy but delicate work. I say what they did in moving the fossil wasn’t that easy at all. I believe they did a fine job of transferring the fossil from one place to another. It’s been about 9 years since they found it, so it’s about time it was moved.

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