‘Dinosaur Hunter’ coming to Omaha March 25th


Who hasn’t dreamed of finding a dinosaur? Who couldn’t wait to see the original “Jurassic Park” movie?

Americans have long held a fascination with dinosaurs.

We will stand in line to see fossils, such as the T-rex named Sue. The original remains of the tyrannosaurus rex discovered in South Dakota stand inside the Field museum in Chicago. However, there are sets of Sue that travel across the country for exhibitions. Each replica was cast from Sue’s actual bones.IMG_0836

We saw her last year when she visited Omaha.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo hosted a dinosaur exhibit for much of 2013. It placed dinosaurs strategically through a wooded area of the zoo. It was a fantastic trip through time.


In northeastern Nebraska, we have the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. We took a 3-hour one-way drive from Omaha once because we were fascinated to see the fossils there.

The park is an actual working site. Paleontologists work there during a few months of the year.

In the meantime, visitors can view layers of fossils from a boardwalk. You are only a few feet away from the fossils – about 12 million years old. The fossils are remains of animals killed when a volcano erupted in southwestern Idaho.

As our fascination with dinosaurs may be only dreams, one man gets to live that dream.


He’s The “Dinosaur Hunter.”

Paul Sereno is considered a real “Indiana Jones.” The paleontologist has discovered more than two dozen species of dinosaurs on five continents.

The Northern Illinois University graduate will discuss his findings and life as a leading dinosaur hunter at the Holland Performing Arts in downtown Omaha Tuesday, March 25th.

His appearance, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is the second in a three-part speaker series – “National Geographic Live.”


Sereno grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and studied art and biology as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University. A behind-the-scenes museum tour opened his eyes to a life of science, art and adventure: “I never recovered from that visit. In paleontology, I saw an irresistible combination of travel, adventure, art, biology and geology,”  according to a press release from the Omaha Performing Arts.

Sereno studied dinosaur fossils in China and Mongolia while he earned a doctorate in geology at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he teaches paleontology and evolution to graduate and undergraduate students and human anatomy to medical students.

His field work began in 1988 in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, where his team discovered the first dinosaurs to roam the Earth – the predators Herrerasaurus and the primitive Eoraptor, the “dawn stealer.” These expeditions revealed the most complete picture yet of the dawn of the dinosaur era, some 225 million years ago.


In the early 1990s, Sereno’s research shifted to the Sahara, and the search for Africa’s lost world of dinosaurs. Expeditions to Niger and Morocco resulted in the discovery and naming: Afrovenator, a new 27-foot-long meat-eater; skeletons of a 70-foot-long plant-eater he named Jobaria; a bizarre fish-eating dinosaur named Suchomimus, with huge claws and a sail on its back; and the 45-foot-long plant-eater Nigersaurus. His team also discovered the most fleet-footed meat-eater, 30-foot-long Deltadromeus, and the skull of a huge, T. rex-sized meat-eater Carcharodontosaurus. Besides new dinosaurs, Sereno’s team stumbled on the world’s largest crocodile, the 40-foot-long Sarcosuchus, dubbed SuperCroc.

In 1999, he co-founded Project Exploration, a nonprofit outreach organization dedicated to bringing the excitement of scientific discovery to the public and providing innovative educational opportunities for city kids and girls. Sereno is also one of National Geographic’s esteemed Explorers-in-Residence.

The author of books and stories in National Geographic and Natural History and subject of many documentaries, Sereno’s recognition includes Chicago Tribune’s Teacher of the Year Award (1993), Chicago magazine’s Chicagoan of the Year (1996), Newsweek magazine’s The Century Club (1997), People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People (1997), Esquire’s 100 Best People in the World (1997), Boston Museum of Science’s Walker Prize for extraordinary contributions in paleontology (1997) and Columbia University’s University Medal for Excellence (1999).

For information on ticket prices and availability, please call Ticket Omaha at 402-345-0606 or visit the website at www.TicketOmaha.com. Tickets are also available at the ticket office during business hours at 1200 Douglas St.