BGSU Magazine Fall 2008

The Indiana Jones of paleo adventure

Retired geologist turns dinosaur hunter

Retired geologist Bruce Young ’76–also known as “The Paleo Guy”–has an unusual hobby: hunting 65-million-year-old dinosaur bones in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

He remembers looking down at his feet and spotting “two brown knobs” that were sticking up out of the Earth. And he remembers how he turned to his wife, Jackie, at that amazing moment. “Say, honey … what in the world are those things?”

Within a few seconds, the husband-and-wife team was hard at work with their excavating tools. As they dug through the hard-packed clay and sandstone of northeastern Colorado (about 20 miles north of Denver), their eyes widened with disbelief.

The “two brown knobs” were actually the underside bones of a skull…Young and his wife had just discovered the half-skull of a mighty Triceratops.

It happened on a gorgeous autumn afternoon in 2003, when the former BGSU geology and biology major uncovered the four-foot-long horn and half skull of one of the most formidable creatures ever to walk planet Earth. Triceratops was a plant eater equipped with three enormous horns. It was a living tank–a hulking brute that weighed up to 12 tons and often grew to more than 25 feet in length. Triceratops was one of the dominant dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period–along with its much larger and more famous adversary, Tyrannosaurus rex.

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