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November 8, 2012
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Take a behind-the-scenes tour at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Colorado's West Slope is rife with dinosaur and other fossil remains. So much so that there are hundreds of artifacts not currently displayed at Fruita's Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita.Want to take a closer look? Take an evening tour Friday, Nov. 16. It starts at 5:30 p.m., and attendees will be able to view a variety of artifacts (both dino and other), as well as lab and work areas not usually open to the public. The cost is $5."We have drawers full of Allosaurus teeth - big, sharp, meat-eating dinosaur teeth," said ReBecca Hunt-Foster, the paleontology collections manager with the Museum of Western Colorado. "Kids always love to see those. And we have fossilized poop ... (Plus), squished, fossilized bugs."Besides being able to view numerous dinosaur fossils not already on display, Hunt-Foster said there's a variety of artifacts associated with invertebrates, mammals and plant life, too.According to Hunt-Foster, notable items on display during the behind-the-scenes tour will include:• The large fish excavated this past summer from private land north of Grand Junction - an Xiphactinus. "It would have been a meat-eating fish who could have been around 14 feet long," Hunt-Foster said.• The scapula paleontologists removed this past summer. It's from an Apatosaurus. "It was excavated from the Mygatt-Moore Quarry, which is located in the BLM McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area," Hunt-Foster added. "Fossils (are) collected under a permit with the BLM."Both specimens are currently being cleaned in Dinosaur Journey's paleontology lab."We try to keep the tours to 15-20 people per group," Hunt-Foster said. "We will do as many groups as we need to. We've never had to turn anybody away."The Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita is part of the Museum of Western Colorado. Aside from its many displays, the museum also hosts digs at active, outdoor excavation sites where members of the community can join professionals in large fossil excavations.Another behind-the-scenes tour will be held Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m.For more information about the Behind-the-Scenes Tour at Dinosaur Journey, call 970-242-0971, ext. 211. Or visit

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 8, 2012 04:22PM Published Nov 8, 2012 03:46PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.