PROVO, Utah -- For a facility driven by the quest of discovery, Brigham Young University's Museum of Paleontology is, ironically, largely undiscovered by both the school's student body and neighboring community.
"We constantly find people who walk in and are surprised to find we're here," said Rodney Scheetz, museum curator and manager.
But once they visit, folks usually come back. Scheetz admits there's something about standing at the base of fearsome, towering dinosaur skeletons that draws out a child's curiosity in visitors of all ages
Once patrons move past the thrill of peering into a "terrible lizard's" jaws they might be even more surprised to learn the LDS Church-owned school operates one of the largest collections of upper-Jurassic period dinosaur fossils in North America. The museum even has its own "patron saint."
Formerly known as the Earth Science Museum, the Museum of Paleontology was built in 1976 to prepare, study and display the extensive collection of dinosaur fossils collected by the late Dr. James A. Jensen and his crews. A BYU faculty member, Dr. Jensen was a prolific researcher who gathered vast collections of material during his field work in the Utah-Colorado Plateau.
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