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Dinosaur bones found

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David D. Waller
The Ellis County Press

BRISTOL - Controversy still rages on the age of our world: millions of years old or only half dozen millennia.

But a cautious medium ground has been found between people of faith and those faithful to 'pure science.'

The former is now saying dinosaurs probably did roam the Earth a few thousand years ago. The latter still hold to their ‘ancient Earth' theories.

Last May, a Bristol family found evidence large reptiles roamed Ellis County in the distant past.

Sierra Bair, daughter of Bill and Shannon Bair, found fossilized vertebrae of an extinct mosasaur in her front yard.

'At first I thought it was a human bone,' said Bill Bair. He sent it away to the Dallas Museum of Natural History.

Fossil Preparator Heather Finlayson examined the bone and identified it. She dated the relic at about 75 million years.

'I found Bristol on the geological map and it looks like this bone came out of the Upper Cretaceous Wolfe City Sand where marine fossils are known to occur,' Finlayson stated in an e-mail to Bair.

'It may belong to a different species than the one we have on display here because it is quite a bit smaller than [a] Tylosaurus, but it is a mesosaur.'

Bair said he found other bone fragments at the same location following his daughter's first discovery.

'I haven't gone out with a shovel to do any serious digging, but I dug around that area a little to see what was there,' Bair said.

It is believed the discoveries were unearthed by a minor excavation project begun a month prior.

Bair said he has sent his more recent findings to Finlayson. He said the vertebrae found by his daughter had been returned.

Texas dinosaurs are not a new concept. Fossils have been found in other places, scattered throughout the state, including Parker County and Commanche County. Also a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull was found in Big Bend.

Evidence has been found in other places, such as the footprints in Fossil Rim located near Glenrose.

More information is available on the Internet at www.fossilrim.org.

The main number to Fossil Rim National Park is 254-897-2960.

Additional information about Texas dinosaurs is available at www.fortworthmuseum.org.

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