Laurel in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Dinosaurs in Maryland!
In 1858, miners discovered strange fossil bones and teeth in the iron-bearing clays near the Muirkirk iron furnace. Maryland State Geologist Phillip Thomas Tyson brought the bones to a meeting of the Maryland Academy of Sciences, where they were recognized as dinosaur teeth! Dentist and Academy member Christopher Johnston named the dinosaur Astrodon for the starburst pattern in the cross section of its teeth. The species name johnstoni was later added to reflect Johnston's contribution to its identification. The fossil dinosaur from Muirkirk became known as Astrodon johnstoni.
During the winter of 1887-88, more dinosaur bones were collected at iron mines in Maryland by paleontologists under the direction of Professor O.C. Marsh of Yale University. Marsh named these remains Pleurocoelus,
Fossils-Important Clues to the Past
Dinosaur bones and teeth, and other fossils enhance our knowledge about prehistoric life and help to explain how plants and animals evolve over time. For example, fossilized impressions of dinosaur footprints indicate that some dinosaurs may have traveled in herds. Similarly, fossil evidence of dinosaur burrows and nests can teach us how dinosaurs lived and raised their young,. Fossils of leaves and trees help shape our understanding about the ancient environment in which these reptiles lived.
Dinosaur fossils are important clues to the past. They should be protected and preserved so that we can continue to discover and learn from them. If you are interested in getting more information about dinosaur bones and fossils at Dinosaur Park, please contact The Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission's Ranger Program 301-627-7755.
Location. 39° 4.245′ N, 76° 52.121′ W. Marker is in Laurel, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached Touch for map. Marker is in Dinosaur Park, 13201 Mid Atlantic Boulevard. Marker is in this post office area: Laurel MD 20708, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dinosaur Alley (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Dinosaur Park (a few steps from this marker); Dinosaur Park's Industrial Heritage (a few steps from this marker); George Washington Carver (approx. 0.4 miles away); Three Sisters: Close Knit Communities of the Laurel Area. (approx. 0.8 miles away); Abraham Hall: A Historic African American Benevolent Lodge (approx. 0.8 miles away); Iron Production: Maryland's Industrial Past - The Iron Making Process (approx. 0.8 miles away); When the Iron was Hot: African America Ironworkers of Muirkirk (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Laurel.
Also see . . .
1. Astrodon johnstoni. Discussed by dinosaur hunter Peter Kranz, at the University of Maryland. (Submitted on July 31, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
2. Dinosaurs in Our Backyard. An interactive exploration of the dinosaurs of the greater Washington D.C. area at the Smithsonian. Many of the plants and animals shown have been found at Muirkirk. (Submitted on November 3, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
1. State Dinosaur of Two States
If Pleurocoelus and Astrodon really are the same creature, it has the distinction of having been the State Dinosaur of both Maryland and Texas. Pleurocoelus became the Texas State Dinosaur in 1997 but was replaced by Paluxysaurus in 2009.
— Submitted July 31, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Categories. • Paleontology •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 31, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 706 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on July 31, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.