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Peninsula Pulse
 


DOVETAIL GALLERY ARTICLES
Spielberg's Rare Authenticated Dinosaur Egg With Baby Dino
Makes Door County Its Home at Egg Harbor!


Excerpt from Peninsula Pulse, 2002
By Roger Kuhns
 

There is the inkling of a baby dinosaur inside a large dinosaur egg at Kathy Mand Beck's Dovetail Gallery on Highway 42 in Egg Harbor. It will not hatch; it's been fossilized for a long, long time. The almost football-sized dino-egg is a perfect addition to Ms. Beck's extensive collection (for sale and display) of all types of natural and artistically created eggs and egg-art.

The story goes like this… during the late Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago, the huge titanosaur dinosaur known as Hypselosaurs roamed the lush regions of the super continent Gondwanaland (when North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America were all one big land mass). It was a beautiful landscape back then – huge trees, open grass lands, and rumbling earth quakes that signaled the slow-motion rending apart of the super continent and the birth of the Atlantic Ocean. It was the time of Tyranosaurus Rex and a host of predators that remain unmatched in the history of the Earth.



 
 
 
 

Hypselosaurs, a vegetarian and relative of the more popular brontosaurus, grew to over 35 feet long. Eggs and bones from this great animal tell its life story. The titanosaurs evolved from the Gondwana area that would become Alaska and northeast Russia, then spread across the dinosaur real estate that would become Europe. Most fossils of this dinosaur come from Aude River in the Pyrenees Mountains of France; the first bones were found in 1869. The Hypselosaurs egg featured at Dovetail Gallery is from this location. There have been a number of dinosaur eggs collected from France from nests long abandoned. Some believe the eggs were actually buried, and the hatchlings left to fend for themselves as they hatched in such great numbers that the survival of a few were statistically guaranteed. Other paleontologists guess that the nests were tended by dino-moms. So why is the egg preserved at all? For some reason the nest was buried by sediment – perhaps from a flood or land slide, an event that would guarantee the egg safe from the many types of opportunistic and hungry scavengers that made a living off the less fortunate back in Cretaceous times. Mineral-rich groundwater slowly invaded the egg and replaced the fetus, eggshell and open spaces with mineral deposits. This created a cast of the original egg, and gave it a greater chance of survival as the Cretaceous landscape was buried, turned to stone, uplifted into the present day Pyrenees mountains, and then eroded to expose the former nesting sites.

It's a long journey from the Cretaceous of ancient France to Kathy Mand Beck's shop; that's why it is especially enticing to look at. This is a rare and wonderful egg, and it's the only one of its kind in Wisconsin. A CAT-scan of the egg (on display next to the egg) reveals the hints of vertebrae and other infant bones. Kathy Beck held an open house for the new Dino Egg exhibit on Saturday July 10, with noon-hour talks about the life and times of Hypselosaurs. Maybe Ms. Beck will even let some young paleontologist suggest a name for the would-be dinosaur.