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Tsintaosaurus skelton coming to Fossil Expo 29. Courtesy of Treasures of the Earth, Mike & Barbara Sincak
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Fossil Expo 29: Dinosaurs! at WIU March 30-April 1

March 16, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Fossil Expo 29: Dinosaurs!, the world's largest exclusive fossil exhibit, will be held Friday-Sunday, March 30-April 1 in Western Hall on the Western Illinois University campus in Macomb.

The annual National Fossil Exposition, sponsored by the Mid-America Paleontology Society (MAPS), is open free to the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday (March 30-31) and from 8 a.m.-noon Sunday (April 1).

Friday (March 30) night's keynote speaker is paleontologist Peter Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute of Geologic Research (SD). Larson is considered a leading expert on Tyrannosaurus rex fossils, having led the excavation of "Sue," the most complete T. rex unearthed. He will present "The Night of the Living Dead: Reconstructing T. Rex Behavior Using Taphonomy and Pathologies." Time of the presentation is to be announced.

Participants will find a mammoth offering of fossils ranging from tiny insects to giant dinosaur bones. A unique new exhibit at Fossil Expo 29 will be a Tsintaosaurus (sin-tau-SAWR-us) skeleton, a late Cretaceous dinosaur. It is one of the first dinosaurs to be displayed in China, and is the only giant Hadrosaur with a vertical bony projection or spike on the top of its head. Unlike other crested Hadrosaurs, the spike projects forward and up, like the legendary unicorn.

The replica which will be at the show was made from the original specimen on display at the Beijing Natural History Museum. Its size is approximately 27 feet long from head to tail, and it stands just over 10 feet high at the hips.

The expo, which draws fossil enthusiasts from across the nation as well as Canada and overseas, allows visitors to view, sell or purchase fossils. A live fossil auction will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with silent auctions Friday afternoon and Saturday. All proceeds go to paleontology scholarships.

Visitors are also invited to tour Western's Museum of Geology, located in Tillman Hall, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free. For group tours, contact Museum Curator Robert Johnson at 309/298-1368 or e-mail

More information about Fossil Expo 29 can be found on the MAPS website at

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