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Media Release

Published: 03/10/2011
Contact: Roxanne Witt Celeskey Public Information Officer New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Phone: 505-841-2826

New Mexico Museum Of Natural History & Science Presents Tyrant Lizards of the Sothwest

Albuquerque, NM–Curator of Paleontology, Thomas Williamson, Ph.D., will discuss the latest new tyrannosaurs that he has named and the evolution of this amazing group of predators in the Voices in Science lecture, Tyrant Lizards of the Southwest, Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m.

During the past 15 years, Dr. Williamson has collected numerous specimens of tyrannosaurs in New Mexico, including the largest predatory dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous, Tyrannosaurus rex. Tyrannosaurs, or “tyrant lizards,” were the dominant large predator of Asia and North America through the Late Cretaceous.

Williamson is conducting a research program focused primarily on Late Cretaceous and Paleogene vertebrates. His research includes an active field-based program centered on the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. Research on this record promises to clarify the evolutionary history, geographic distribution, and diversity of major vertebrate groups leading up to and following the terminal Cretaceous extinction.

Don’t miss this exciting exploration of one of the most famous groups of dinosaurs!

Cost: $5 public, $4 members, $3 students
Purchase in advance online to guarantee your seats, go to or purchase tickets at the door before the talk. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Questions: August Wainwright
call 505-841-2861

The skull of Bistahieversor sealeyi (below); Artist's reconstruction by Matt Celeskey (above). The skull and skeleton of Bistahieversor sealeyi (pronounced: bistah-he-ee-versor see-lee-eye) were collected in the first paleontological excavation from a federal wilderness area, the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness. The specimen was airlifted from the badlands by a helicopter operated by the Air Wing of the New Mexico Army National Guard. According to Williamson, “Bistahieversor sealeyi is the first valid new genus and species of tyrannosaur to be named from western North America in over 30 years.”

About Thomas Williamson, Ph.D.
Thomas E. Williamson, Ph.D. 
is Curator of Paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Dr. Williamson’s degrees are from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (B.S. Geology, 1986) and the University of New Mexico (M.S. Geology, 1989; Ph.D. Earth and Planetary Sciences, 1993). He has been a Curator of Paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science since 1994.

About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is a regional center of excellence in scientific research, exhibits, and science education.

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