Dinosaur Naming Ceremony

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Byron Saputo shows the packed crowd of students his winning personal name for the Missouri Dinosaur. Eva Dunn, museum director and Byron's mother Sabrina Saputo assist Byron. Come by to meet Dina MO yourself at the Bollinger County Museum of Natual History.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History held a Naming Ceremony to bestow a personal name on our Missouri dinosaur. For years our Missouri State Dinosaur (Hypsibema missouriense), a large duckbill hadrosaur, has been known to scientists by its scientific name, Hypsibema missouriense; most of the time the public simply called it "The Missouri Dinosaur". The Bollinger County Museum and our curator, Guy Darrough of Lost World Studios, felt it was time for a more personal name for everyone to use. The addition of this personal name does not change the species or scientific name for the dinosaur but gives us a name people may find easier to use and allowed our children from all across Missouri to be a part of this moment in history.

Children across the whole state of Missouri who were in the grades k-8 were asked to submit their name ideas. The museum received hundreds of entries. A panel of judges went over all the name submissions then selected their top choices. Out of those top choices the judges then selected the name they felt best reflected information about our dinosaur.

The Naming Ceremony on Nov. 21 was the culmination of this search. The main exhibit hall on the second floor of the Bollinger County Museum was filled with excited students, teachers and parents for this big announcement. Students from Leopold, Zalma, and Woodland were present and anxious to find out who had submitted the winning name and what that name was. All were hoping it was the name they chose.

Visitors were greeted on their arrival at the museum by Bollinger County Presiding Commissioner Travis Elfrink. The ceremony was opened by the museum director, Eva Dunn, who welcomed all our guests. Director Dunn began by taking questions from the students concerning our dinosaur. After Mrs. Dunn spoke she turned the floor over to our museum curator, Mr. Guy Darrough, who spoke about the importance of finding dinosaur bones in Missouri. Following Mr. Darroughs' talk Museum Director Eva Dunn announced the names of the finalist in the contest. Each finalist came forward as their name was called and received a certificate of merit for their contribution to the contest. At last the big moment arrived and the final certificate was awarded to the winner of the contest, Byron Saputo - a kindergarten student from Leopold School - who submitted the name Dina MO. Byron's mother, Sabrina Saputo; who had been waiting in the wings, came forward to help museum director Eva Dunn present the certificate and a plaque with a casting of the Missouri dinosaur, to Byron. Byron then received an official Missouri dinosaur T-Shirt. All the children assembled gave Byron a big round of applause for his success in being the winner of the contest. After the audience settled down a plaque with the Missouri dinosaur on it was presented to the Leopold School Principal Mr. Britt by Byron. Photos were taken of the winners and the schools lined up to board their buses and head back to school. As they were leaving all students were presented with a piece of a duckbill hadrosaur bone provided by museum curator Guy Darrough as a reminder of the naming ceremony.

Come by the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History and meet Dina MO soon.

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