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Antarctic dinosaur fossils to be featured at Field Museum in 2018

Paleontologists Nate Smith, left, and Pete Makovicky remove blocks of fossil-bearing rock containing Cryolophosaurus bones from the Mt. Kirkpatrick quarry in Antarctica. | Field Museum photo

Fossils found on a Field Museum expedition to Antarctica will be featured at a traveling exhibit that debuts at the museum in 2018.

“Antarctic Dinosaurs” will start at the museum that summer and extend into early 2019, said Jaclyn Johnston, director of public relations at the museum.

Field Museum paleontologist Pete Makovicky was on that 2010 expedition to Mt. Kirkpatrick in Antarctica, where he helped find many of the fossils that will be on display, according to the museum.

Notable among the finds on Mt. Kirkpatrick — dubbed “Dinosaur Mountain” — are a 25-foot long Cryolophosaurus skeleton and the nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile Prosauropod, nicknamed “Jolly Roger,” Johnston said.

The exhibit will also include items on loan from other museums — items that will “tell the story of early expeditions to the region,” she said. Fossils from a 1901-1903 Swedish expedition to Antarctica will feature prominently.

A special ticket will be needed for the exhibit, in addition to the museum’s general admission fee. Prices have not been set.

Hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin donated $5.5 million to the exhibit. He has supported other Field Museum programs in the past, including the “Evolving Planet” exhibit in 2006.

That donation from Griffin’s charitable fund will also fund new dinosaur programming, like a multimedia toolkit for teachers and an educational video game, Johnston said.

A helicopter was used to carry fossil-bearing rocks from Mount Kirkpatrick in Antarctica back to the expedition's camp. | Field Museum photo

A helicopter was used to carry fossil-bearing rocks from Mount Kirkpatrick in Antarctica back to the expedition’s camp. | Field Museum photo