Mesalands Community Dinosaur Museum participates in Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live!

Free tickets to the Dinosaur Museum available

September 24, 2013

On Saturday, September 28, 2013 from noon to 5 pm, the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum and Natural Science Laboratory will participate in the ninth annual Museum Day Live with 1,400 other museums across the country. This event reflects Smithsonian’s mission to make cultural education accessible to everyone. Visitors who present tickets at the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum will gain free entrance for two people on Saturday. Tickets are available online at:

In support of Museum Day Live, the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum will host the opening of its latest exhibit, Geisonoceras: nautilid from the ancient sea of Morocco. This exhibit showcases the Museum’s latest acquisition, a 425-million-year–old Moroccan sea creature preserved in black limestone. The Geisonoceras was most likely a predator with its sharp beak crunching into scorpions on the sea floor. This animal ranged from centimeters to over six feet, perhaps growing to 14 feet long. A natilid or an ammonite, lived in the last and largest segment of its conical shell, adding a new chamber and dividing it from the old living chamber as it grew.

This latest acquisition at the Dinosaur Museum was purchased through funds from the Mesalands Community College’s Foundation that was collected from donations in the Museum.

“This is part of the revamping of our ammonite display and expanding our exhibit on sea creatures in the Museum. In particular addressing some more interesting questions about the ammonite, regarding what the ammonite animal looked like? What was the function of the shell? How does the shell grow? etc.”  Dr. Axel Hungerbuehler, Faculty, Natural Sciences/Museum Curator at Mesalands said.

Members of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Department at Mesalands will also be on-hand on Saturday to show visitors the programs and research opportunities available at the College, including paleontological undergraduate research.

“We invite the community to come out on Museum Day Live to see what’s new at the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum,” Gretchen Gurtler, Director of the Dinosaur Museum at Mesalands said. “People can also come out to the Dinosaur Museum before they go to Fired Up, with Museum Day Live being the same day. This will be just an entire day of fun and educational activities for the community.”

The Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum and Natural Science Laboratory is located at 222 East Laughlin Avenue in Tucumcari and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. For more information, contact the Dinosaur Museum at (575) 461-3466 (DINO).