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'Touch the Dinosaur' soon at the ND Heritage Center

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

Ever wanted to “touch a dinosaur?”

You’ll get a chance at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

The “Dakota the Dinosaur” display is being retooled.

"It won't be laid out like an animal anymore," said state paleontologist Clint Boyd. "Instead, we'll have individual parts, highlighted in the way that will show off their features."

Boyd said what makes this possible is the fact that some of the actual skin was found when the fossil was discovered.

"You'll be able to stand and look at the tail," Boyd said. "At the same time, we'll have a 3-D printed section of the tail, and you'll be able to run your handsm of that 3-D section while you're looking at the actual fossil tail."

Boyd said you will be able to make a connection.

"There's the real fossil, and I can feel exactly what this animal felt like," Boyd said.

Boyd said that's why the theme "Touch a Dinosaur" for this exhibit.

"How many places can you go and actually feel -- not a guess at what a dinosaur felt like, but the acutual surface of what a dinosaur would feel like?"

Boyd saids you will also be able to see the arm and the foot of the actual dinosaur. He said the main body block will not be displayed – because there’s more work to be done on it. But Boyd said this gets the specimen back on display as soon as possible, and shows off some of its best features.

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