Live From The Field: Willie The Dimetrodon

October 11, 2011

Today’s post is from Michele Whisenhunt, a volunteer on the Museum’s paleontology team. She’ll be sharing photos with us while the team is at the Black Hills Institute, prepping Willie, the Dimetrodon the team discovered.

"Twisted Willi"

Was this in his life or after death?

Did these spines twist while Willi was alive or was it the geologic pressure that caused the twisting?

Was Willi the James Dean of his time? Would this good-looking fin catch a girl or would it keep him warm on cold nights?

These are the things we ponder in the prep lab of Black Hills Institute of Hill City, South Dakota as we explore the twisted spines of this Dimetrodon. The fin, a fixed sail of nerves, blood vessels, and skin that would have controlled body temperature, attract a mate, or intimidate other males.

The evidence shows that Willi was “twisted” in his lifetime. The sediment where Willi was found shows the water was slow moving and therefore would not have caused this deformity after he died.

Also, the fact that his skeleton is so well articulated it shows we are seeing him in his true form.

Tomorrow, we dig into two new jackets found near Willi both of which contain the bones of other species.

"Twisted Willi"
Erin B
Authored By Erin B Blatzer

Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS. In a past life, she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Become An HMNS Member

With a membership level for everyone; Don't just read about it, see it.

View All Membership Levels

Editor's Picks The Real Moon Hoax That You Haven’t Heard Of Is Darwin relevant today? Oh The Hermannity! The Story of Houston’s Most Beautiful Green Space A Few Member Benefits Most HMNS Members Don’t Know About What The Loss Of The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro’s Collections Means To The World What Is The Deal With Brontosaurus?!
Follow And Subscribe
HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629

Get Directions Offering varies by location
HMNS at Sugar Land

13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
(281) 313-2277

Get Directions Offering varies by location
George Observatory

21901 FM 762 Rd.
Needville, Texas 77461
(281) 242-3055

Tuesday - Saturday By Reservation
Saturdays 3:00PM - 10:00PM
Saturdays (DST) 3:00PM - 11:00PM
DST = Daylight Savings Time.
Please call for holiday hours. Entry to Brazos Bend State Park ends at 9:30 p.m. daily
Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.