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The Dinosaur Boom: The 1855 Hayden Site

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Published on Nov 8, 2013

During the 1850s, the study of prehistoric life was in its infancy. Darwin's theories on evolution had yet to be published, and the term "dinosaur" had been coined just the decade before. Building on centuries ideas, a new generation of observers -- geologists, naturalists, biologists -- began to revolutionize the scientific community. One, Ferdinand Hayden, explored the American West with hopes of answering questions about the continent's physical development. On a trip to the Missouri Breaks in 1855, Hayden made a remarkable discovery: the first identified dinosaur fossils in the Western Hemisphere. His work initiated a stampede of bone hunters to the western states -- including Montana, where the "fossil boom" continues to this day. Presented by MHS community preservation coordinator Kate Hampton at the Montana Historical Society on November 7, 2013.

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