Give Now

Most Preserved Dinosaur At Home In Indianapolis


Photo: Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Leonardo is a duck billed dinosaur and was found with intact with tissue and stomach contents.

One of the rarest finds in paleontology history is housed at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The duck-billed dinosaur named Leonardo is the best-preserved remains of a dinosaur in the world, and it is almost completely intact – including it‘s stomach, and its contents.

Dave Trexler with the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, Montana says having an intact dinosaur tests what we think we know about the creatures.

“This particular specimen is pretty much the test of a lot of hypothesis that we’ve had over the last 150 years,” Trexler said.

Scales and tissue have been found on less than one-tenth of one-percent of all dinosaurs ever excavated. When Leonardo was discovered in Malta, Montana in 2001, about 90-percent of his body was still covered in fossilized soft tissue. That makes his discovery very important to test what we think we know about dinosaurs – whether or not that information might be correct.

Paleontologist Robert Bakken was a skeptic when he first heard that a dinosaur with skin had been found.

“Then I heard, it’s got gut contents and I said ‘no way, absolutely not,’” Bakken said. “How could a tiny group of volunteers in central Montana find something like that?”

Leonardo is now being studied by scientists who work with the Children‘s Museum‘s Dinosphere exhibit, and he will go on public display in March 2014.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.