The smallest known dinosaur species discovered so far in Wyoming has earned its own exhibit in its home state.
Lori the dinosaur was probably a little bit larger than a magpie.
The tiny, feathered dino would have darted around bushes and plants, hunting insects and maybe small mammals in the Jurassic period roughly 150 million years ago.
Paleontologists dug up the bones in 2001 while excavating in eastern Wyoming.
One of those paleontologists was Bill Wahl with the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, where Lori will star in a new permanent exhibit.
“It excites me because we have it. I mean, I’m not trying to be mercenary about it, but the Dinosaur Center at least has the specimen. That means that other people have to come to see what we have. We haven’t just turned it over to another university to be stuck in a box or a drawer. It’s gonna excite enough people to look for more of them,” says Wahl.
Lori is a troodontid, which were especially smart, clawed, bird-like dinosaurs that ate meat. Wahl says it’s the earliest one found in North America to date.
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center’s new exhibit opens Friday.