Havre Daily News
The clutch of 15 dinosaur eggs never hatched, but they've had an extended life. The 73 million- to 74 million-year-old duck-billed dinosaur eggs were found near Fresno Dam in 1994 and removed to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman for research. On Tuesday, a replica of the clutch was added to the collection of the H. Earl Clack Museum.
“This egg clutch was definitely one of the better finds,” said Pat Leiggi, Museum of the Rockies paleontology director, as he helped install the replica in the Clack Museum at the Holiday Village Shopping Center.
“Now we really deserve to be on the Dinosaur Trail,” museum foundation vice president Gary Wilson said.
The Montana Dinosaur Trail was organized earlier this year and includes 14 locations in the state where visitors can see unique dinosaur collections. The Clack Museum was included because it has a hatchling duck-billed dinosaur and some eggs fragments collected by local scientist Vickie Clouse.
Wilson said the addition of the clutch replica helps fill out the museum's collection. It is temporarily displayed on folding tables near the museum's hatchling. The museum will likely build a case for it, Wilson said.
“We're really glad it's kind of back in its home,” Leiggi said as he helped position the replica.
While Havre gets a copy of it, the original is still being researched at the Museum of the Rockies, Leiggi said.
“This was a significant find because a lot of the eggs collected in the area actually contained embryos,” including the museum's clutch, he said.
Studying the eggs helps paleontologists learn about the life cycle and development of dinosaurs. At this point, scientists don't know precisely what species of dinosaur the eggs belong to, only the family - Lambesaur, or crested duck-bill.
“It's really nice to see this replica here in Havre,” Leiggi said. “We work all around the world, but our emphasis is in Montana.”
The H. Earl Clack Museum Foundation paid $2,000 for the cast, but it cost at least twice that to make, Leiggi said.
“When we get a request from a museum like the H. Earl Clack, we're happy to do what we can,” he said.
Wilson said the Clack Museum board first heard about the egg clutch a few years ago from Clouse, who suggested the members try to get the clutch or a copy. It came up again a year later, and board members wrote this year to the Museum of the Rockies to see how the Havre museum could get a cast.
The purchase was made possible by a posthumous donation by Ardelle Hurlburt, Wilson said.