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Naturally Speaking: Bigger, Stranger, and (Maybe) Scarier than T. rex: Meat-Eating Dinosaurs from the Southern Continents

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Date(s) - 05/20/2021
6:30 pm - 7:00 pm

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Date: May 20, 2021

Time: 6:30pm

Webinar Speaker: Dr. Matthew C. Lamanna

Almost everyone knows about the T. rex, but did you know that even larger and weirder carnivorous dinosaurs lived in the Southern Hemisphere continents at the same time? Come learn all about this menacing menagerie of meat-eaters–several of which are featured in the Virginia Living Museum’s upcoming exhibit Jurassic Giants – from Dr. Matt Lamanna, the dinosaur paleontologist at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Lamanna and collaborators have spent the past 22 years exploring the southern continents for dinosaur fossils, discovering many new species along the way. In the process, they’ve added to our understanding of the terrifying predators that called these continents home.

Matt Lamanna is the Mary R. Dawson Associate Curator and Head of Vertebrate Paleontology and the principal dinosaur researcher at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He received his B.Sc. from Hobart College in 1997 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and 2004. Within the past two decades, he has directed or co-directed field expeditions to Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, China, Croatia, Egypt, and Greenland that have resulted in the discovery of multiple new species of dinosaurs and other Cretaceous-aged animals. Lamanna and colleagues’ most significant finds include the gigantic titanosaurian sauropods (long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs) DreadnoughtusNotocolossus, and Paralititan. He also led the study of the bizarre bird-like dinosaur Anzu, better known as the ‘Chicken from Hell,’ and co-discovered dozens of beautifully-preserved fossils of the 120 million-year-old bird Gansus in China.

Most recently, Lamanna and collaborators named Sarmientosaurus, a titanosaur that is represented by the best-preserved skull yet discovered for this diverse and abundant dinosaur group, and Mansourasaurus, a titanosaur that fills a ~30 million-year gap in the fossil record of dinosaurs on the African continent. Lamanna served as chief scientific advisor to Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s $36M dinosaur exhibition, Dinosaurs in Their Time, and has appeared on television programs for PBS (NOVA), the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, A&E, the Science Channel, and more.

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