Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Finding dinosaurs in the Judith River Formation, Late Cretaceous, Montana

Thursday, 28 March 2024
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:
Online event

Dr Denver Fowler, Curator, Dickinson Museum Center, North Dakota

Dr Fowler will describe his research into the Judith River Formation in Montana. This formation, dating from the late Cretaceous period between 79 and 75.3 million years ago, has yielded a wide range of fossils of fish, amphibians, crocodilians, lizards, turtles and of course dinosaurs. It was explored by early American palaeontologists as early as 1876, the same year as Custer’s ill-fated last stand at the Little Big Horn, also in Montana.

Further Reading

Denver is credited with the authorship or co-authorship of 68 publications since 2003. A selection is given below.

Warshaw EA & Fowler DW (2022). A transitional species of Daspletosaurus Russell, 1970 from the Judith River Formation of eastern Montana, PeerJ. http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.14461 (Publication scheduled online 7am GMT Nov 25th 2022, free access) (Summary / Press Links / Images)

Fowler DW (2020). The Hell Creek Formation, Montana: A Stratigraphic Review and Revision Based on a Sequence Stratigraphic Approach. Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 435. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110435

Fowler DW, Wilson JP, Freedman Fowler EA, Noto CR, Anduza DA, & Horner JR (2020). Trierarchuncus prairiensis gen. et sp. nov., the last alvarezsaurid: Hell Creek Formation (uppermost Maastrichtian), Montana. Cretaceous Research 116, December 2020, 104560. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2020.104560. (Published online July 10th 2020) (Summary / Press Links / Images)

Fowler DW & Freedman Fowler EA (2020). Transitional evolutionary forms in chasmosaurine ceratopsid dinosaurs: evidence from the Campanian of New Mexico, PeerJ 8:e9251. DOI 10.7717/peerj.9251 (Published online June 5th 2020) (Summary / Press Links / Images)

Fowler DW (2017) Revised geochronology, correlation, and dinosaur stratigraphic ranges of the Santonian-Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) formations of the Western Interior of North America. PLoS ONE 12(11): e0188426. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0188426

Scannella JB, Fowler DW, Goodwin MB, Horner JR (2014). Evolutionary trends in Triceratops from the Hell Creek Formation, Montana. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(28), p. 10245-10250.

Fowler DW, Freedman EA, Scannella JB, & Kambic RE (2011). The predatory ecology of Deinonychus and the origin of flapping in birds. PLoS One 6(12): e28964. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028964.

Fowler DW, & Sullivan RM (2011). The first giant titanosaurian sauropod from the Upper Cretaceous of North America. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 56(4): 685-690.

Fowler DW, Woodward HN, Freedman EA, Larson PL, & Horner JR (2011). Reanalysis of “Raptorex kriegsteini”: a juvenile tyrannosaurid dinosaur from Mongolia. PLoS One 6(6): e21376. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021376.

Fowler DW, & Hall LE (2011). Scratch-digging sauropods, revisited, Historical Biology 23(1): 27-40.

Fowler DW, Freedman EA, & Scannella JB (2009). Predatory functional morphology in raptors: Interdigital variation in talon size is related to prey restraint and immobilisation technique. PLoS One 4(11): e7999. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007999.

Denver was born in the north of England. His lifelong interest in palaeontology was prompted by family holidays to the Jurassic Coast and the Isle of Wight (Britain’s “Dinosaur Island”). Here, Denver collected Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils, including many dinosaur bones, and later worked at “Dinosaur Farm”, a hands-on museum where visitors watch and interact with volunteers preparing the latest dinosaur finds.

Since 1996, Denver has worked in a number of palaeontology museums and university departments, and also in science media: as a dig site leader for the BBC’s “Live from Dinosaur Island” (2001), a specialist researcher (2005-6) for Impossible Pictures (London), and scientific consultant for many other television, film, exhibition, and media projects.

Denver’s interest in palaeontology has a strong emphasis on fieldwork and he has extensive experience from working in the UK, Mongolia, China, Canada and the US. He currently conducts fieldwork in Late Cretaceous rocks of the northern US, focusing on rare species, growth stages, or direct evidence of dinosaur behaviour. In the Judith River Formation his finds have included rare ceratopsians, a new ankylosaur, the oldest most complete hedgehog teeth and the smallest known T. rex, “Chopper”. His research concentrates on how dinosaurs lived and their evolution.

Please note that this lecture is in addition to our normal monthly series of lectures and will be an online Zoom event. Society members for whom we have email addresses will be sent a Zoom invitation. If you are a member but are not on our email list, or a non-member who would like to join the meeting, please email the society’s secretary to request an invitation.